Grand Falls-Windsor — It’s official — the group that is considered by many to be the most influential rock and roll band of all time has signed on the dotted line and will play Grand Falls-Windsor this summer.
Kiss will be the headliner for the Exploits Valley Salmon Festival concert, which will take place at Centennial Field on Saturday, July 9, according to Deputy Mayor Anne Blackmore, chairwoman of the Salmon Festival committee.
The announcement was made Saturday night during The Telegram Herder Memorial Championship in Grand Falls-Windsor.
Blackmore said tickets for the concert will go on sale April 21 at all Needs Convenience outlets provincewide.
The promoters, SRO Entertainment out of New Brunswick, are in the process of setting up a website which will be linked to the Town’s Salmon Festival website where tickets can be purchased online, starting April 21 as well.
The Advertiser has learned promoters are anticipating the price of early bird tickets to be around $74.50 plus hst, however, this has yet to be confirmed.
There are only 5,000 early bird tickets available.
“I would not be surprised if every single one of those go within the first 24 hours,” Blackmore said.
After the early birds are sold out, regular price tickets will be available at a higher cost. And depending on those ticket sales, there will be tickets available at the gate if space allows.
Blackmore said council estimates 20,000 people to be the limit, however, the field has not been surveyed yet so it could be up to 25,000 depending on safety concerns.
There will be three other bands at the concert and Blackmore said the other bands will be announced, one at a time, over the coming weeks leading up to April. 21.
“They are hinting around that the three other bands are going to be three superstar acts that have never performed in Newfoundland and Labrador,” Blackmore said.
Though the annual event is normally based around the third weekend in July, signing Kiss will mean some changes in dates for other events.
“There is no Salmon Festival the following weekend,” Blackmore said. “This is the Salmon Festival. The whole Salmon Festival is shifted into the weekend before, except for Family Day and Grand Falls-Windsor Day.”
The Salmon Festival events will start on Thursday, July 7, with the annual salmon dinner. The stadium dance will take place on Friday, July 8, followed by the concert on Saturday, and Newfie Night on Sunday, July 10.
Grand Falls-Windsor Day and Family Day are going to take place the following weekend around Grand Falls-Windsor Day on July 18, and may possibly be combined this year.
Though the logistics of the gospel concert have yet to be discussed, if it does go ahead they are trying to place it to coincide with Family Day and Grand Falls-Windsor Day.
No other information is nailed down yet for these other events.
Kiss has recorded 37 albums over 36 years and sold over 100 million albums worldwide making them one of America’s top gold-record champions.
In the early 1970s, Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley co-founded and led the New York-based rock and roll band Wicked Lester.
Unhappy with the direction the band was taking, the co-founders parted ways with the rest of the group in 1972. Later that year, Peter Criss auditioned and they began rehearsing as a trio. In January 1973, lead guitarist Ace Frehley was auditioned and the same month the band became Kiss.
The two original co-founders are now joined by guitarist Tommy Thayer and drummer Eric Singer.
Blackmore expects the reaction to changing the festival schedule to be positive.
She said council has been asked to bring in the big names many times and have said to get one big band people are going to have to be flexible.
“If this band can only come this date, it only made logical sense to us to switch the date of the festival,” she said.
Since the rumours of Kiss have been circulating, Blackmore said every room in Grand Falls-Windsor, including bed and breakfasts, have been booked for that weekend. She added Gander hotels rooms are sold out there, also.
Blackmore said the show is estimated to cost $1.1 million, however council has hooked up with a promoter and the $200,000 council budgeted for the entertainment for this year’s event is their promise for the parts of the event they are responsible for.
“You can never put a million dollars of the tax payers money on a risk because if you lose that means taxes are going up next year by a million dollars,” she said.
“So, we were fortunate enough to hook in with this promoter and they take the brunt of the risk and in turn they will also take the brunt of the profit depending on how the concert goes, which was never a concern because really this is like an investment for the town. We don’t care about making money, we want to break even.”
She added council has been told that just for Kiss alone, there are 25 transport-truck trailers full of items for the show and one full transport truck just for costumes.
“Just to see the actual show that they put off is going to be crazy,” Blackmore said.
She added since the official announcement Saturday night, the town is booming with excitement.
“It’s all positive,” she said. “It’s overwhelming. It’s going to be so crazy. I haven’t heard one negative thing. All I have heard is how everyone is so excited and when do the tickets go on sale?”