You and your friends have picked up your tickets, you’ve got a place to crash, and you’ve been counting down the days. Finally, the Freshwater Suzuki Salmon Festival mega concert is just around the corner.
Taking place on Saturday, July 14, the lineup has something for everyone, from hit pop artist Carly Rae Jepson (you know you can’t get “Call me Maybe” out of your head), to Flo Rida, Cheap Trick, and headlining act Aerosmith.
And it’s not just the concert that has people excited, in the days surrounding the big day the Salmon Festival has something for everyone. Festivalgoers can dance the night away at the stadium dance on Friday evening to the sounds of Fleetwood Mix, Papa String, and special guest performers TAB the Band, or check out family day on Monday for magic, games, international food, and more.
The Advertiser checked in with SRO Entertainment’s CEO Jack Livingston – who was just preparing to board a plane to Newfoundland that evening – to see if he had any last minute tips, rules, or information to share with the thousands of people anticipating the show.
“Yeah, it’s going to be sunny, hot and 80 degrees,” he said with a laugh.
Although the long range forecast didn’t call for rain on Saturday as of press time on Tuesday, Livingston did have a few tidbits to help people enjoy the concert to its fullest.
He said one question he’s been getting calls about is what people are allowed to bring on the field.
He said festivalgoers can feel free to bring a lawn chair or canvas foldable chair, and encouraged people to bring a backpack with a change of clothes in case the weather changes.
“And make sure to bring lots of sunscreen,” he said.
Livingston added that people won’t be able to bring outside food or drink onto the field, which has been the case the past number of years.
“I’ve seen it all, some people abuse that privilege, all of a sudden water bottles become half full of gin and vodka,” he said.
This year SRO has amped up it’s game with the expectation of so many people, and with the longest bar in Newfoundland and Labrador serving up cold beer and coolers in the wet area, and tons of food and other amenities located right on field, attendees will have all their needs taken care of.
“We want to make it comfortable for everybody,” he said. “We have all the amenities on site, it’s just phenomenal the amount of services and variety of food.”
And to ensure a safe environment for concertgoers of all ages, Livingston said they have lots of security in place, as well as first aid tents. There will also be paramedics and doctors on site in case of an emergency.
While there are still plenty of tickets available, Livingstone said there were under a hundred campsites left, and they’re going quickly, so people should book as soon as possible.
Gates will open at Centennial Field at 1 p.m., and the show will start at 3 p.m. sharp, with rock legends Aerosmith to close the show and play for approximately two hours.
“If you have any questions or concerns, or if people need tickets or campsites, call our toll-free number at 1-866-999-8687,” he said. “Everything is ready and we’re rearing to go. It’s going to be the largest and greatest show the great fans of Newfoundland and Labrador have ever experienced.”
Be safe, have fun
Although the Town of Grand Falls-Windsor is no longer responsible for the concert, it has planned a jam-packed week of activities for all ages.
Kicking off the festival on Thursday night is the traditional Salmon Dinner, and to lead up to Saturday’s concert is the anticipated Stadium Dance on Friday night.
“It’s going to be an excellent night,” said Coun. Moores. “We have some excellent dancing and drinking music, the beer is going to be cold, and all your friends are going to be there.”
Coun. Moores said the Stadium Dance is generally where people go for a night of partying, dancing, and meeting with friends. And this year, the lineup is sure to draw a crowd.
Fleetwood Mix, a Fleetwood Mac cover band will headline the show, and local band Papa String will be bringing their funky tunes to the stage as well.
The Town has also recently announced a special guest for the evening. TAB The Band will be coming all the way from Massachusetts to rock the show.
Although TAB the Band features two of Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry’s sons, the unique, raw sound of these rockers have garnered them a reputation that is all their own. The group has played all over the US at high profile events like Lollapalooza, and have been featured on the MTV show Jersey Shore, HBO’s Entourage, and have even had music featured in video games.
Described by Rolling Stone magazine as playing “bluesy, sleazy guitar raunch,” with influences ranging from Cheap Trick to T-Rex, this up and coming group is sure to up the energy of the evening.
Although the Stadium Dance is for the 19 plus crowd, families have not been left out of the Salmon Festival events. Sunday after the concert the popular gospel band NEWWORLDSON will hit the stage at Windsor Stadium, and Monday’s Family Day will be jam packed full of great entertainment, and food. Newfie Night will follow on Tuesday with entertainment from The Navigators and Mill Road.
With all these great events, it’s no question that Grand Falls-Windsor will be a very different place over the next few days. Coun. Moores said it’s expected that 25,000-30,000 people will be flocking to town over the weekend, meaning the population could as much as triple for a few days.
Coun. Moores suggests residents hit the grocery stores and gas stations to stock up on Thursday or early Friday to avoid long lineups.
“Last year people were lining up on the sidewalks to get into convenience stores to buy their beer and chips and such,” said Coun. Moores.
He added that vehicle pedestrian traffic will be increased significantly at all hours, and that motorists should extra careful over the weekend.
For more information on all the Salmon Festival events including times, locations, and ticket prices, visit www.salmonfestival.com.
“I’m telling you, this is going to be the biggest Salmon Festival yet,” said Coun. Moores. “Just watch and see, this is going to be huge.”