Mayor calls special council meeting to vote on Waterfront Concerts contract

Lynyrd Skynyrd fans Rachel Malcolm (left) of Trenton and Jamie Tate-Copeland whoop it up with thousands of others as Charlie Daniels arrives onstage as the opening act for the Hollywood Slots Waterfront Concert Series in Bangor in August 2010.
Lynyrd Skynyrd fans Rachel Malcolm (left) of Trenton and Jamie Tate-Copeland whoop it up with thousands of others as Charlie Daniels arrives onstage as the opening act for the Hollywood Slots Waterfront Concert Series in Bangor in August 2010. Buy Photo
Posted Dec. 02, 2011, at 7:34 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — With time becoming more of a factor, Bangor Mayor Cary Weston has called for a special meeting of the Bangor City Council on Wednesday to vote on authorizing a 2012 contract with Waterfront Concerts.

The special meeting will occur after a one-hour public workshop starting at 5:30 pm. and an executive session closed to the public at 6:30 p.m.

“I think once we determined both the public and executive sessions would be back to back, it was clear we’d have direction in terms of the contract with Waterfront Concerts,” Weston said. “It made perfect sense to me to take the vote as soon as we could to enable Waterfront Concerts to move forward in one way or the other.”

Weston said he fully expects to have a vote at the special council meeting.

“In their business, time is of the essence,” he said. “There are opportunity costs when it comes to booking talent and we’re not just competing with venues near Bangor, we’re competing in northern New England.”

Weston was referring to Waterfront Concerts promoter Alex Gray’s need to book acts and performers for the 2012 season several months ahead of time.

The council on Monday tabled a planned vote on the approval of a contract between the city and Waterfront Concerts for 2012, casting some doubt on the continuation of the two-year-old series.

Doug Higgons, the regional vice president for Global Spectrum, a facility management company that will manage Bangor’s new arena and event center when it opens in the fall of 2013, said Friday that while time is a factor, Bangor’s new status as a desirable tour stop makes time a less critical factor.

“The success the Waterfront Concerts series has had has put Bangor on the entertainment industry map nationwide, and they [promoters and performers] already know about it,” said Higgons. “You don’t have to do a hard sell, so the fact those folks delayed it a week won’t make a difference. Assuming everything gets settled on Wednesday, I don’t see any major aftereffects.”

Still, Weston prefers not to delay the process any longer than necessary.

“The sooner you get on the bus, the better seat you get,” said Weston. “And we want to put him [Gray] in the driver’s seat.”

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