The dueling pianos show was a successful experiment in bringing night-time, adult-oriented entertainment to McBurney Plaza in Langley City, council was told. Supplied

Night time was the right time for Langley City dueling pianos event

Langley City Plaza summer series reports success with evening experiment

An experiment with outdoor night time entertainment in Langley City was a success, so much so that the organizers of the McBurney Plaza Summer Series series is looking at doing more of it next year.

The Sept. 9 Dueling Pianos in the Plaza event represented a change for the organizers, the Downtown Langley Business Association, which produces the Summer Plaza Series with the City, events at McBurney Plaza on the one-way that are usually held during the day, free and open to all ages to drop by.

Dueling Pianos was for adults, it was at night, and it wasn’t free.

People had to purchase tickets.

The 19-years-and-over event from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. included beer, wine and street food, along with music, including a Vegas-style dueling pianos performance, and a magician.

“We weren’t sure how this was going to go over,” said Teri James, the executive director of the Downtown Langley Business Association.

“We put the tickets online and in four days we’d sold every one of them.”

She said no one was turned off at having to purchase a ticket for the evening event, and $10 to $15 seemed to be the right price point for tickets (which included a beverage ticket).

James, who was reporting on the third year of the Plaza series to Langley City Council, said proceeds from the ticket sales, $720 after costs, were donated to kids sports in the City of Langley.

“We didn’t associate it (the evening event) as part of the series this year but we certainly will next year,” James said.

The DLBA is looking at hold two evening events next year as part of the summer series, in addition to three daytime events.

Under consideration are a possible folk music event, a beach-party-themed event, similar to this year’s successful world music event, but with a “shirts and sandals, easygoing” atmosphere, and a jazz and swing music event.

Other possibilities are a dueling guitars event modeled on the dueling pianos show and an evening devoted to Irish and Scottish music.

“Stay tuned,” James said.

James said the DLBA continues to adjust the summer series based on feedback each year.

In 2017, she said, the organizers learned that people who attend the plaze events are looking for high quality, professional entertainment,and they prefer “landing times” so they know when performances will start, rather than “walk around and look” type of events.

The DLBA is planning three daytime events next year on June 23, July 7 and July 28, and two evening events on July 14 and August 11, all under the umbrellas of the McBurney Plaza Summer Series.

READ MORE: Photos: Science in the Plaza

Events this year included Science in the Plaza, which was given the June 24 slot after a later-in-the-season appearance during a previous year ended up rain-drenched; Jedi in the Plaza, which drew Star Wars fans of all ages, Sports in the Plaza, which had a lower-than-hoped-for turnout and was the event where it became clear people prefer to have specific times for performances; World Music, and Create It in the Plaza for DIY enthusiasts.

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The World Music event in the Plaza. Supplied

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