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WTMD wins “Best of Baltimore” for First Thursdays concerts move

WTMD First Thursdays

First Thursday concert in Canton.
Photo taken by Abby Cummings, courtesy of CrowdAlbum.

Baltimore magazine’s best “Change of Scenery” award goes to WTMD 89.7 FM, Towson University’s public radio station, for moving the venue of its popular First Thursdays Concerts in the Park series from Mt. Vernon to Canton Waterfront Park.

“I’m thrilled that our hard work, community engagement projects and conversations with civic leaders have been recognized by Baltimore magazine for a Best of Baltimore award,” said Steve Yasko, general manager of WTMD, in response to the announcement.

The annual awards were featured in the August issue of Baltimore magazine, which touted WTMD for its adaptability:

“Though the crowds have increased at the new grassy space, organizers responded with more beer tents, food trucks, and local vendors. Now the concert series (featuring acts like The Hold Steady and Joan Osborne) has the feel of a bona fide music festival — all still for free.”

The distinction is a reflection on the growing popularity of the free concerts, which typically attract 10,000-plus attendees every month.

“I’d like to thank Sean Flanagan from the Canton Community Association,” said Yasko. “Sean’s keen eye and connections kept the process moving along to completion. This award is as much his and the Canton Community Association’s as it is WTMD’s.”

“Tara, Fran, Kermit and all the folks at the Baltimore City Department of Parks and Recreation share this honor too,” he continued. “They are the folks who do the heavy lifting each show night to make sure the stage is set up, the park is cleaned up afterward and a hundred other details that make each concert magical. Thank you so much.”