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Lifted restrictions mean Waterfront Concerts a go this summer

Work to open venue and book more acts now underway.
Lifted restrictions mean shows will go on in Bangor.
Lifted restrictions mean shows will go on in Bangor.(WABI)
Updated: May. 13, 2021 at 4:13 PM EDT
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BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - The announcement of the removal of capacity limits and requirements to physically distance in all public outdoor settings ensures there will be a Waterfront Concert season in Bangor.

TV5 has more on what that will look like and how the timing of the news impacts things.

“On the books we have Luke Bryan, Thomas Rhett, and Kiss,” explained Waterfront Concerts’ Alex Gray. “All carryovers from 2019.”

Gray got the news of lifted outdoor restrictions along with the rest of the state Thursday afternoon. Maine is the last of the New England states to make this announcement. He says not knowing has cost them.

“We’ve had shows pass on us in September and October of this year that are 2021 shows, not 2020 carryovers,” said Gray. “2021 shows that need to know if they have a clear path forward. Need to know they can pull these shows off. They are businesses, too. They have a financial model.”

While it’s unlikely they will be able to add any new shows before what is already scheduled, there is a hope of adding three or four more for late summer and fall.

“We’ve gone as late as Columbus Day weekend before,” he explained. “I think after that, you start to take your your life in your hands so to speak as an outdoor concert producer. But as we’ve seen with outdoor dining, people have become more responsive to the idea of being outdoors. I think we’ve got a bit longer runway so to speak in that sense of a traditional concert season. Maybe end of the third week in October that we could book things.”

The shutdown has paused plans for upgrades to the venue itself.

“There will be a period in which we want to do more construction, but in reality, the plan that we had in front of the city of Bangor, that is probably gone,” he said. “Unfortunately with 14 months of no earned revenue and really just acting as a nonprofit employing people to keep the company together, we are at a disadvantage to really realize our grand vision prior to COVID.”

Gray says when the Waterfront Pavilion does reopen this summer, it will be similar to what concertgoers have known in years past.

Getting it ready to go will take about a week.

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