March 23, 2019
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Portland City Council approves full, expanded Waterfront Concert season at Maine State Pier

Troy R. Bennett | BDN
Troy R. Bennett | BDN
Brynn Elliott, opening for Alanis Morissette, plays on the Maine State Pier Saturday night in Portland at sunset.

PORTLAND, Maine — More music could be coming to the Maine State Pier in 2015.

At a meeting in mid-December, the Portland City Council approved a request from Waterfront Concerts to expand the programming offered at the Maine State Pier. The Old Town-based concert promotion group led by Alex Gray plans to increase the number of concerts it will hold at the 3,000-capacity pier, from five in 2014 to more than eight in 2015.

Last year was the first year Waterfront Concerts began booking shows at the pier, and after a successful first season, Gray is actively seeking to expand his agency’s reach in southern Maine.

“We love the Pier for many of the same reasons we love the Darling’s Waterfront Pavilion. They are both beautiful locations, both in the heart of the action in two great growing cities, and there is something about being able to see a show adjacent to a river or body of water that is so tranquil,” said Gray in an email on Wednesday. “We are excited for what the future holds in both markets.”

The initial request approved by the Portland City Council allowed for the second annual Reggae Fest to be held on the pier on Aug. 8, featuring an array of reggae bands from all over New England and the world playing all afternoon and evening.

The request also approved a “season” festival declaration, in which Waterfront Concerts would be allowed to book concerts at the Pier more freely and not seek approval for each individual concert. This is a similar agreement to the one Waterfront Concerts has with the city of Bangor for use of the public space that houses the Darling’s Waterfront Pavilion — Bangor allows Waterfront Concerts a set amount of weeks in warmer months in which to reserve dates for various performances and events. The pier will continue to host other, non-Waterfront Concerts events, such as an open auditions for “American Idol” or beer festivals.

No concerts other than the aforementioned Reggae Fest have yet been announced for the Maine State Pier, but Waterfront Concerts plans to unveil a series of weekly concert announcements for both the pier and the Darling’s Waterfront Pavilion beginning in early January.

Two concerts were already announced for the Darling’s Waterfront Pavilion: the annual Rise Above Fest, featuring heavy rock headliners Godsmack, Seether and Slash, set for May 9, and rock band Nickelback, set for Aug. 19.


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