For the first time since the concert series began in 1988, the shows are not being presented by Buffalo Place Inc. Philadelphia-based Global Spectrum was awarded the concert production contract following a bidding process undertaken by the ECHDC. Global Spectrum also won the contract’s to promote, manage and maintain the 20-acre Canalside district.
The concerts, which remain the signature events among the more than 800 planned for Canalside this year, were booked by Funtime Presents, the local agency that has landed major national recording acts for the waterfront for more than a decade. In the past, the concerts attract more than 200,000 people and have an economic impact on downtown Buffalo estimated at $7 million.
This year’s bookings are diverse, with hip-hop artist Shaggy, Canadian acts Sam Roberts and Tragically Hip lead singerGord Downie. Also booked is the husband/wife guitar-playing Derek Trucksand Susan Tedeschi. A performance by the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, playing selections from Michael Jackson and Earth Wind & Fire is on the schedule.
“Faster and louder or slower and soulful -music is about diversity of sound and rhythm and that’s also what Canalside is all about this summer season,” said Robert Gioia, ECHDC chairman. “We will rock it out some nights and feel the blues on others– 2014 will be the summer that has something for everyone who gets to the waterfront when mikes are on and the guitars are plugged in.”