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Jon Divello performs at the Sunshine Sessions in 2023. (Photo credit: Nicholas Grasso)

On eastern Long Island, you often hear the phrase, “What grows together, goes together,” directed at what we eat and drink. But for Little Creek Oyster Farm & Market’s Ian Wile, that goes for music, too.

Last summer, Wile and business partner Travis Zurawski soft-launched the “Sunshine Sessions,” a music series that acted as a late-season add-on to Wile’s then year-old Sunshine Shack, the Orient Beach State Park snack-bar outgrowth of his Greenport shuck-tastic oyster spot, Little Creek.

The series was a hit, with local performers like Jon Divello and Julia King performing in front of Wile’s folksy vintage aqua blue and white Volkswagen bus to increasingly large crowds that gathered on the surrounding benches and sand each week next to the cedar-shingled snack shack.

Thanks to the word-of-mouth buzz and the enthusiastic response, the Sunshine Sessions are back and much bigger this year, with weekly performances planned throughout the entire summer.

“We think about last year as the first real year of the Sunshine Shack. We felt like we opened with an idea of the various ebbs and flows of the park—when it’s busy and when it’s not,” says Wile. “One of our driving goals from the beginning was to make sure it was a community-centered beach.”

The bus was a big part of the concert from the start. “We started to think about how that becomes part of our larger identity,” Wile says. “It looks so great on the beach … And I said something out loud like, man, it’d be so great to just park this bus on the sand and have somebody play music in front of it. No charge, just music in the park.”

The Sunshine Sessions will be held every Tuesday afternoon at 4 p.m. from June 4 to Sept. 3 (Tumbleweed Tuesday) with Paris Ray as the opener. Other bands waiting in the wings include the Mudflats String Band, the HooDoo Loungers, Sara Mundy, Wandering Time, REEB and more to be announced.

The shows are free, and guests can enjoy Sunshine Shack’s various food and drink offerings, like lobster rolls, cocktails like Little Creek’s signature rum Painkiller, locally made Dos Ositos Paletas ice pops and ice cream sandwiches.

Last year, Wile offered a shuttle from Greenport to the beach in Orient so concert-goers didn’t have to drive. This year, with a much more expansive schedule, Wile is working on getting an arts grant to continue that tradition.

“In a perfect world, I’d love to have a free shuttle for everyone,” Wile says, noting he thinks a shuttle would lessen car traffic in the park and on Route 25. “We want to add to the community without [having] a negative impact,” he says.

With live music, no-fuss summer vibes and the friendly Little Creek family at the helm, the Sunshine Sessions are on the way to becoming a timeless seaside tradition on the North Fork. Or at least, an endless summer one, says Wile: “The Sunshine Shack [feels like] it exists out of time.”

For a complete schedule of Sunshine Sessions performances at Orient Beach State Park (40000 Main Road), check out @sunshineshack_orient on Instagram.