Unsung Hero #252

If you haven’t been to the Levitt Pavilion this year, or over the past few years*, then you don’t know Joey Bairaktaris.

But everyone else does.

He’s the Levitt’s site supervisor.

That’s his job title, anyway. He’s really much more than that.

Joey — a 2016 Staples High School graduate — is the public face of the pavilion. He’s everywhere, at every show.

Joey Baraiktaris (Photo/Susan Leone)

He makes sure guests are happy, gently enforcing rules for a few for the enjoyment of all. He makes sure the performers have what they need.

He answers questions. He solves problems before they occur. He empties trash cans (and picks up whatever stray garbage the rest of us leave behind).

And he does it all with a wonderful, winning smile.

Susan Leone nominated Joey as an “Unsung Hero.” She asked him about his job. He told her he came to Westport in 8th grade from Redding. Switching schools at mid-year was not easy. But it made him work hard to keep busy, and not think about how tough things had been.

Joey started at the Levitt 7 years ago, after working at Compo Beach and the Westport Weston Family YMCA.

He went to Johnson & Wales University, majoring in criminal justice and psychology. In the summer he’d work for Westport Parks & Rec during the day, then the Levitt every night.

He’s also working for the New England Patriots, doing security, and is in the process of applying to police departments. “All my work and schooling go together, with being around people,” Joey notes.

He says: “The best part about working at the Levitt is the people I meet. I get to interact and talk with people from all over. Everyone has endless stories and knowledge from their lives and careers. Face to face talking is lost these days with technology, so it’s great to get to actually talk to people.”

Keeping a crowd like this — and performers — happy and safe is not easy. Joey Bairaktaris does it well. (Photo/JC Martin)

He’s not kidding about his ability to talk to people. When the Peterson Brothers band came from Austin, Texas, they gave him their contact info, so he could stay with them there.

“There’s kindness everywhere,” Joey says. “It just takes all of us to bring it out.”

Joey spreads credit around. “The Levitt Pavilion is an extraordinary venue, but it wouldn’t be possible without everyone who is behind the magic. I’m a small seasonal part. The base of the Levitt is the board members and the Welshes. They make everything happen, with 365 days a year planning, organizing and so much more.”

He downplays his own role. “There’s not really anything special about me. I’m just a Westporter who loves to keep busy, try new things, and meet new people. Everyone has been so amazing. You can’t find a place like this anywhere. The community really does come first here.”

Joey Bairaktaris is — very deservedly — this week’s Unsung Hero. And he is — every week — Mr. Levitt Pavilion.

*And why not? It’s the best free entertainment in town!

(Do you know an Unsung Hero? Email 06880blog@gmail.com)

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13 responses to “Unsung Hero #252

  1. Jennifer Zorek-Pressman

    He always does an amazing job at Levitt

  2. Laureen M Montagna

    You captured the essence of Joey perfectly Dan and thank you for this lovely recognition of this amazing young man!

  3. Mary Ann Lindwall

    Joey is such a treasure. One of the best people I know! Great work Joey.

  4. Joey is amazing! Thanks, Dan, for letting the rest of the town know.

  5. Joey used to do various jobs for us such as shoveling when we had our home on Drumlin. He was always very reliable and very willing to help out. Two thumbs up on this week’s selection!

  6. Mary Ann Lindwall

    Joey is such a treasure. One of the best people I know! Great work Joey.

  7. Joey does a wonderful job for the levitt. Our town of Westport as downtown resident he makes is proud

  8. Bill Boyd shs 66

    Another great job by you Dan… You are the unsung hero every week!

  9. Joey is such a pleasure to work with on – he always makes sure the high school and college staff has food, water, and takes breaks when needed. He’s such an invaluable resource to the Levitt, and his work benefits the Westport community as a whole. He’s an amazing guy and absolutely an unsung hero!

  10. I’ve been to many events at the Levitt Pavilion these last few summers for the music, the setting, the experience.

    I have witnessed Joey working hard to ensure events run smoothly and that concert-goers enjoy the experience… and he ALWAYS has a big smile on his face. His passion for his work shines through.

    I wanted Joey to know how much Westporters appreciate what he does. Thank you Joey!!! And thank you Dan for providing the forum the stories of our Unsung Heroes!

  11. You can’t help but smile back as his smile is contagious. He is so friendly & so hard working. You will go far in life Joey!

  12. Westport Weston Chamber

    Joey has worked with the Chamber on our Levitt events and is always smiling with his can do attitude. Thank you for your help in making our events a success!

  13. Nancy and Marc Halpert

    Ditto what everyone else has already stated. Joey is THE BEST! A truly special person – delightful, fun, witty, attentive, with a tremendous work ethic, and a wonderful smile. Kudos to Joey on all he does to make us all enjoy our time at the Levitt. A well deserved nomination.

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