A concertgoer cheers during Cyndi Lauper at Darling's Waterfront Pavilion in Bangor in this July 14, 2017, file photo. Credit: Ashley L. Conti

The 10th season of music at the Darling’s Waterfront Pavilion in Bangor kicks off this weekend, with a concert from Lynyrd Skynyrd and Hank Williams Jr. on Saturday, the first of 17 concerts scheduled for this summer on the Bangor Waterfront.

Inside the venue, two major upgrades are set for this season, one of which is finished, and the other of which will be completed by the end of July.

A section of seating that complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act has been expanded. Alex Gray, president of Waterfront Concerts, said there are now 100 new seats specifically for those who use a wheelchair or other device and for their companions. That’s in addition to other ADA-compliant seating around the venue, which by law must comprise a certain percentage of overall available seats.

Gray said that in addition to the expanded ADA seating, a long-anticipated addition of permanent bathrooms will be gradually added to the venue this summer, with the first 40 of 80 toilets to be ready in time for the July 18 Florida Georgia Line concert, and the rest to be functional by mid-August.

“We’ll be partially off porta-potties this year, and by this time next year, we’ll be totally off them,” Gray said.

For this season, Waterfront Concerts will partner with three local breweries — Orono Brewing Company, Geaghan’s Brothers Brewing Company and Mason’s Brewing Company — to offer venue-exclusive beers at all its concession areas.

Outside of the venue itself, concertgoers will arrive to a dramatically different-looking waterfront, as several major projects — both public and private — are either nearly completed, or still underway.

Construction on new sewage infrastructure began in March and will continue through most of the summer. The grassy area directly in front of the venue is presently torn up, though work will stop during concerts to allow staff and guests to enter and exit the venue freely.

Across the street from the venue, work on the new corporate campus for Bangor Savings Bank is nearly complete, and the majority of an estimated 500 total employees are now working out of the property, which includes a new 117,000-square foot, five-story building and a 450-space parking garage.

Bangor Savings Bank intends to open its new parking garage to concert attendees during each show this summer. The bank will donate 100 percent of the $25 cost to park during concerts to 18 local charities.

Emily Burnham

Emily Burnham is a Maine native and proud Bangorian, covering business, the arts, restaurants and the culture and history of the Bangor region.