And you thought Kiss couldn’t be topped. For the first time ever, frontman Steven Tyler and Aerosmith will headline the 2012 Exploits Valley Salmon Festival Mega Concert, set for July 14.
Tickets go on sale for both the concert and campsites at Red Cliff April 12.
And Grand Falls-Windsor Mayor Al Hawkins is expecting quite a crowd.
“If you want to get in on this thing, you’ve got to get your tickets early.”
SRO Entertainment and the Town of Grand Falls-Windsor made the announcement this morning.
Cheap Trick has been named as the official opening act for Aerosmith, and Uncle Kracker has signed on to play in the afternoon. Other big-name acts are expected to be announced in the coming weeks.
Media and Artist Relations with SRO Entertainment, Angela Di Corpo, said on the back of last year’s huge success, they wanted to step it up a notch — and she feels they’ve done just that.
“The fans are in for definitely a high-energy show,” Di Corpo told the Advertiser.
“They play all their classic hits. It’s just a high-energy show, and it’s an amazing show to watch. I was very lucky to go on two tours with them in South America…You’re mesmerized by the show every single time.”
And she said paired with Cheap Trick, there’s no doubt concertgoers will flock to Centennial Field.
“What’s great with them. They’re like Aerosmith — they have those classic songs that everyone knows,” Di Corpo said. “And when people want to go to concerts, that’s what they want to hear.”
Di Corpo said this year’s show will be the biggest yet, and organizers are “raising the roof” to prepare. They’re raising the ceiling of the stage on Centennial Field by 40 feet, and a catwalk will be added to the front of the stage so audience members can get even closer to the artists.
A new VIP Platinum section has been added, which includes private food and bar service.
“Last year there was a comment about the beer garden that there just wasn’t enough people selling beer, so this year we actually have 150 bartenders, and the bar itself is going to be 250 feet long, which will help accommodate for that special section that we do have,” Di Corpo said.
“We decided this year to have a bigger variety of food, based on the comments we heard last year. … A whole variety of food will be available to you.”
Hawkins said in a word, he’s “thrilled” with this year’s mega concert, one he thinks will benefit the entire province, not just Grand Falls-Windsor.
“We had 21,000 last year,” he said. “I think people better get out and get their tickets early this year, because I’m guessing there will be 25,000 or more, and I really expect that to happen.”
And Hawkins expects to see fans from other Atlantic provinces, too.
“When it’s all said and done, if we come out, as a town … and we can even break even on this thing, look at the millions of dollars that’s infused into our communities as a result of this thing. … These are the things that are important,” he said.
Once the upgrades are made to the stage at Centennial Field, Hawkins said the possibilities are endless.
“There were some concerns … one of the things about these bands now is that, if they perform in Toronto, they want to be able to do the same show in Grand Falls-Windsor,” he said.
“As you know, Kiss last year had to tone it down somewhat. … When the changes are made, we’ll be in a position where we can bring in pretty much anybody. And that’s an investment … for years to come.”
And thanks to the new catwalk and VIP section, Hawkins said the fans could get even closer to the artists.
“(There will be) some preferential treatment to people who purchase these VIP (tickets),” he said.
“Number one, they’ll be closer to the stage. Number two, they’ll have access to their own beer garden and food concessions, and throughout the concert … there will be numbers drawn where they will be able to go back and meet Aerosmith and have their photo taken.”
Hawkins said Tyler’s latest success on American Idol is going to help bring in their crowds, too.
“It’s almost like getting a movie star coming to your community,” he said. “Everybody watches it and everybody is pretty excited about that. I’m thrilled we’re able to put this off. I’m looking forward to a very successful weekend.”
Early bird tickets will cost$99. You can pick them up at any Needs Convenience Store location, by phone at 1-866-999-8687 or online at www.salmonfestival.ticketforce.com.
Di Corpo said they’re looking forward to a bigger and better show this year — one that will be hard to top next year — and she suggests there are more big announcements to come.
“We should have news in the coming weeks,” she said. “And as soon as they come, we will be announcing them. They are huge acts … and I think everybody is going to be very happy when they do get confirmed.”