Concert coming to downtown Halstead

Chad Frey
The Kansan

Erskin Anavitarte and Brendon Brooks were able to play a concert in Military Park in July of 2020, at the height of the COVID-19 Pandemic. The pair were part of a festival lineup for an event in it's fifth year — SummerFest. 

On their calendars again for this summer, the festival did not happen. 

Erskin Anavitarte [pictured] and Brendan Brooks will play a concert at Crossroads Christian Church in Halstead this weekend, part of their "Comeback" tour.

"I really think it is a lack of people (the organization supporting the festival)," said Rockin' Ron Corino or Newton, who helped organize the music portion of the festival. "Attendance has really gone down and the finances to do this are down."

Brooks saw more than 70 concerts canceled last year, the vast majority of them from COVID-19 concerns. 

But a concert featuring the two artists will happen —  at 6:30 p.m. July 25 at Crossroads Community Church, 225 Main St #1912, Halstead.

Anavitarte and Brooks are  starting a midwest tour, called a "Comeback Tour." 

"We are telling people it is time to come back to church with a new attitude and perspective,' Anavitarte said. "For some people, a fresh start. .. I believe the Lord has put a powerful message on my heart. ... I am excited."

Corino went ahead and booked the concert on his own when he learned the festival would not happen. He told the Kansan that venues are getting hard to find, especially for under-the-radar Christian artists like Anavitarte and Brooks.

"These artists are not real well, well known artists and sometimes churches do not know who they are.," Corino said. ".... Churches have their own things they are doing. I don't want to put churches down, but that is how it seems."

Both are regulars on Corino's two radio shows — one he hosts on KBCU FM 88.1 at Bethel College and one at Angel 95 FM. Corino has carved out a niche playing independent artists. 

"Angel 95 says 'you have three hours to do, but the first hour has to be .... off the grid,' which is independent artists," Corino said. 

Anavitarte hails from from Nashville, Tennessee, an artist who blends  a combination of gospel and hip hop with modern contemporary worship. His album "Circles" was due for release this month according to newreleasetoday.com.  He released an EP, "Love Moves," in 2019. 

Brooks hails from Wisconsin, moving to Nashville in 2011. He writes and performs Christian contemporary music.  His first solo album was released in the summer of 2016. 

"Both of these artists have become dear friends," Corino said. "I want to see full families, kids and all, there. ... The kids will have a great time with these artists."