Tonawanda News

Local News

April 24, 2013

NT concert headliners announced

NORTH TONAWANDA — There was a quiet scene Tuesday at Gratwick Riverside Park, where two golfers practiced their chip shots, a yellow kite skirted through the sky and dozens of others enjoyed the return of nice weather along a calm Niagara River. 

<\z12f”sans-serif”>But that scene will give way to much rowdier images this summer, when thousands of eager music-lovers will descend on the normally tranquil swath of green space for an expanded Cornerstone’s Niagara River Rocks concert series, with the headliners Primus, The Tea Party and Rusted Root headlining Sunday afternoon concerts in June, July and August.  

What began as a one-time only affair last summer with the bands Buckcherry and Fuel drawing upwards of 10,000 people and 70 boats to the park, while also serving as a testing ground for future potential after the loss of the Molson Canal Concert Series in 2007, has turned into the fulfillment of a campaign promise, according to Mayor Rob Ortt. 

The one-term mayor who is running for re-election this year announced three shows near the river’s edge Tuesday for the 2013 summer lineup, along with concert promoter Kathy Paradowski and local politicians. Ortt said he pledged to push to bring back major bands after the Gateway Harbor series fled to Lockport in a dispute with previous administrations.  

“Last year was a trial run,” Ortt said. “It worked.” 

As North Tonawanda attempts to reinvent its waterfront, the city and the promoter revealed Tuesday what they hope will become the status quo, adding to the slow but steady progress that has come to the city in recent years and the potential to tap into its underused waterfront.  

Ortt said the he believes the series could become a permanent fixture in the Lumber City/ Paradowski, who also promotes the Labatt’s Canal Concert Series in Lockport, said there’s also the chance it could expand. 

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