By this time last year, bands, beer-pouring volunteers and marketers would be lining up to launch the Thursdays-in-September concert series Swinging on the Tracks at the Science Museum of Virginia.
But the tracks will stand silent Sept. 3, on what would have been the kickoff to the ninth season of the series.
“We just decided this was going to be a good year to have a break,” says Robin Moncol, director of corporate relations at the Science Museum of Virginia Foundation.
At the end of 2008, she says, the museum and its young professionals' association, the Universe Society, decided to revamp the group — which had produced Swinging on the Tracks as a fundraising and awareness effort for the foundation.
With the group down to about 20 members, Moncol says, producing the series meant “a lot of people working around the clock to put on that event.”
Since, she says the Universe Society has added structure, changed its membership fee, worked on outreach and stuck to smaller events such as Martini and a Movie at the museum's IMAX theater. Membership has climbed to 120.
The future of Swinging is uncertain, Moncol says. Crowds ranging from 500 to 800 were smaller last year to see a lineup including Kings of Swing, Bio Ritmo, the Blue Dogs, and the Tony Rice Unit and Rob Ikes. Profit was “pretty insignificant,” she says.
But the series may be back sometime in a new format, Moncol adds: “We're planning, planning, planning — and next year we're going to bring back some events. We just don't know what it looks like.”