Steamboat Springs Few bands have been together as long as The Wailers, arguably the most celebrated reggae band of all time and made famous in the 1960s and '70s by Bob Marley and hit songs such as "Buffalo Soldier" and "Redemption Song."
The versatile 12-member band, which still includes some of the original Wailers, is going into its 44th year and kicking off the 15th annual Free Summer Concert Series on Wednesday in Steamboat Springs.
Joe Kboudi, owner of All That Jazz and co-organizer of the popular concert series, said he is "stoked" the series is getting started with such a well-known and accomplished band.
"We're fired up," he said Monday. "It's a great summer band with all that Marley reggae. It's going to be a lot of fun."
The concert begins at 5:30 p.m. with local acoustic rock musicians Eric Berry and Eric Delaney. The Wailers should take the stage by 6:45 or 7 p.m.
Kboudi said having The Wailers play on Wednesday is fitting.
"That's the second longest day of the summer, so it'll be beautiful until 9:30 p.m.," he said. "It's a great day to start the series."
The Wailers played at Levelz in 2006, but they've never played a free concert in Steamboat, he said.
"When I saw (The Wailers), they were fabulous," Kboudi said. "They were so entertaining. It was great."
Concertgoers are reminded that dogs are not permitted at the concert. Also, alcohol cannot be brought into the concert area. Walking or riding a bicycle is encouraged because traffic can get congested on Howelsen Parkway, Kboudi said.
LIFT-UP of Routt County officials will collect canned food or monetary donations during the concert, he said.
"This is our coming out," he said. "It's a huge event when everyone gets out and gets a chance to see each other. We're expecting an awesome crowd."
The concert series continues with Mofro taking the stage July 13; Los Lonely Boys on July 27; Sam Bush on Aug. 8; and an unknown act to close the series sometime in August.