Santa Fe Concert Series Includes Later Train, Taylor Swift Tribute

Rail Runner adds Friday night southbound to summer lineup

Last summer, some Railyard Concert Series attendees visiting from Albuquerque would have only heard the final tunes from a moving train because the final southbound Rail Runner left at 9:05 pm on Fridays. This year, starting June 7, the Rail Runner will kick off a new partnership with Lensic360 and the Railyard Community Corporation for an additional Friday night southbound train that leaves at 10:05 pm.

“Not only will it increase access to Albuquerque,” Lensic360 Director Jamie Lenfestey tells SFR, “but I’m really hopeful that people will take the opportunity to utilize the train as a park-and-ride from the various Santa Fe stations.”

The Rail Runner has offered a 10:14 pm southbound train on Saturdays since last August, according to Allyne Clarke, marketing manager for Rio Metro Regional Transit, following community surveys that indicated a market for later transportation back to Albuquerque. Providing an extra hour on Friday, then, was a no-brainer.

“When they approached us about the concert series, we thought it was a great idea,” Clarke says. “We obviously did our research, but I think having something specific like a concert series helps. We were on board.”

Lensic360′s Railyard Concert Series has a fairly stacked lineup of Friday night shows this year, including electronic dance jam act Mexican Institute of Sound with Frontera Bugalú on June 7; reggae artist Hirie on June 21; and the annual Meow Wolf Monster Battle with electronica from The Polish Ambassador and many others. The org will also host its annual Santa Fe Salutes show featuring a plethora of local musicians covering one artist or band’s body of work. In the past, Santa Fe Salutes has tackled Prince, Tom Petty, Aretha Franklin, David Bowie, The Beatles and Elton John. This year’s honoree? Taylor Swift on Friday, Aug. 2.

“Santa Fe Salutes was rooted in honoring artists who passed away, but [former coordinator] Mikey Baker started the trend in recent years that we’re trying to honor living legends,” Santa Fe Salutes coordinator Andy Primm says. “Last year we did Elton, and this year…I don’t know that there’s a bigger living legend right now than Taylor Swift. It’s Taylor’s world, we’re just living in it.”

Primm doesn’t have a lineup for the show just yet, but says he hopes to attract younger musicians when the call for applicants goes out in the coming days.

“I’m looking forward to getting an education about Taylor,” Primm adds. “And something else I’m really excited about is that whoever wants to be a part of it, I want them to bring their own take. This is not going to be a karaoke show.”

Santa Fe Salutes also coincides with SFR’s Best of Santa Fe 2024 block party in the Railyard, so stay tuned for more details on that, too (and vote for your favorites this month).

Lenfestey, meanwhile, says in addition to helping train commuters, organizers for the Railyard Concert Series will also offer a bike valet service in June. He hopes live music might help to up Rail Runner engagement.

“I think it presents a fun opportunity for people to ride the train, possibly for the first time,” he posits.

Railyard Community Corporation officials are also glad about the slightly later train.

“We love that Lensic360′s free concerts at Railyard Plaza are more available to a broader audience thanks to our Rail Runner partnership,” says Director of Events & Marketing Ginny Sanders. “I just might drive to Albuquerque so I can experience it myself.”

Also on the docket, the Lensic360 Summer Movie Series kicks off in Railyard Park Saturday, June 1 with a screening of Greta Gerwig’s Barbie, with other films playing every other Saturday through the Aug. 24 screening of E.T. Good thing there’s that 10:14 train, huh? All concerts and movies are free to attend and begin at 7 pm.

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