Salmon Festival announcement could come next week

Getting bands has been more difficult this year says promoter

Andrea Gunn
Published on April 29, 2014

Aerosmith rocks the stage at the 2012 Salmon Festival concert. In recent years the Salmon Festival has drawn crowds of over 20,000 people to the Exploits Valley to take in the outdoor concert.

File photo

With the highly anticipated Salmon Festival concert in Grand Falls-Windsor just 10 weeks away, fans are wondering why there’s been no word on what bands will rock the Centennial Field stage this July 12.

In the past few years the lineup for the show had been announced long before May, and with accommodations and time off an issue for many concertgoers, there’s no wonder why fans are getting a little anxious in the absence of an official announcement.

However, Meryl Stewart, representative from Salmon Festival concert promoters SRO Entertainment, told the Advertiser earlier this week they’re close to being able to announce the lineup.

“We’re working on some different issues to get some bands secured,” said Stewart, adding, “the festival is going to happen this year, it’s just been a little more difficult than the years past,” Stewart said.

“Not every band is touring like we want but we’re in the midst of working something and we hope to make a statement by the first (part) of next week.”

Stewart said as in past years, SRO is not interested in making a partial lineup announcement. They to make sure they have the whole story before letting the cat out of the bag.

Stewart said while SRO has a number of bands that have agreed to play, they haven’t signed any acts yet as they’re holding out for some major acts. He said they’re currently working out details on that.

“Over the last few years there’s a certain brand of entertainment now that’s expected at the Salmon Festival and we’re trying to keep to that brand,” he said. “We don’t sign any bands until we have a complete lineup, because if you sign a band you own it, and not every band is of equal nature obviously. You (have to get) the larger band then you build undercards.”

When dealing with world-class, multimillion-selling acts like Aerosmith, the Eagles, and Kiss who have played at Salmon Festival in the past, Stewart said it’s not as easy as people think. He said bringing bands to Newfoundland comes with a unique set of logistical challenges, and moreover, the concert has to fit in with a band’s already planned summer dates.

“It’s just not as easy as going out there, paying money and grabbing a band, which some people think that’s how it works. We have to have everything worked out perfect for them because they understand the time frame to come to Newfoundland and back, it is a little bit more hassle then if you were in all those bigger cities,” he said. “We’ve been fortunate in the past that bands have seen that we can do it and we definitely have the facilities.”

Stewart said he understands that fans are getting anxious, but he hopes people can be patient as the promoters get the details worked out for what will be a spectacular Salmon Festival concert.

“We do want a good show, because in Newfoundland the people do have to travel a fair amount of distance to come to Grand Falls-Windsor. They come from (places) like St. Anthony and St. John’s and it’s got to be something they think is worthwhile,” Stewart said.  “That’s why we’re just really holding our ground hoping for the acts that we enquired about. We want good entertainment, not a mediocre show.”