Tonawanda News — While attendance numbers fell for the Primus show on Sunday at Gratwick-Riverside Park, the promoter in charge of it, Kathy Paradowski, said it may be indicative of the fact it wasn't free.
But even with the charges — $7 for advance tickets and $15 at the gate — her event, the Cornerstone's Niagara River Rocks Concert Series, made more money than last year.
With an average of about 10,000 people for each of the three free shows held along the Niagara River in 2013, last Sunday's concert could have been viewed by outsiders as a disappointment, with attendance down by nearly half to 6,000.
Not so, Paradowski said, who said concessions' sales were up while thousands of people were still drawn to North Tonawanda's waterfront on what might have been a slow summer Sunday.
She also noted that only two of the four shows being held this summer are free, including Tom Cochrane and Kim Mitchell, who will perform on July 20 at the tail-end of the Canal Fest of the Tonawandas.
"If we want to do big acts we have to charge," she said. "Money-wise we did better by charging."
Paradowski said confusion over the start time of the concert may have also caused numbers to drop a bit, with the doors to the venue opening at 2 p.m. and wrap-up time of approximately 8 p.m.
"We had a lot more people showing up at 7:30 p.m.," she said. "Even though it was on our website."
The smaller crowd may have also had a slight influence on rowdiness as well, as police said this week that the number of incidents were also down slightly from last year, with eight individuals cited for violating open container laws and two arrested for trespassing on CSX-owned rail lines along River Road.
"We held the concerts on Sunday afternoon because we figured that all the other ones are so late," she said. "And what a better place to do it then in the park along the river."