Niagara Gazette

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April 24, 2013

Artpark lines up big names for big season

Niagara Gazette — After announcing its Tuesday concerts would require paid admission last year, attendance never faltered. In 2013, Artpark officials are hopeful the same thing happens with its Wednesday shows.

Though admittedly less popular than the Tuesday offerings, Wednesday concerts have picked up a following since they began bringing more contemporary artists to Artpark's amphitheater. Artpark President George Osborne said the lineup was put together with the idea of bringing bigger, better acts to the stage, but charging a small fee to do it.

"This year, we've taken a new tact with our Wednesday series," he said. "We spent a lot more on the talent and we decided we would charge $5 for most of the Wednesday night shows. It increases the anticipation. The series has struggled a little bit with inconsistencies and this year I think we have a super lineup."

The Wednesday shows run for five weeks, with the series kicking off June 12. There won't be a July 3 show, the only break in the set. All tickets are $5 pre-sale and $10 during the week of the show, with the exception of June 19's MGMT concert, which will feature a $10 pre-sale and $15 week-of price plan.

As for the park's most attended concerts, Tuesdays will remain paid admittance for a second consecutive year. This year's lineup has some heavy hitting rock, folk and R&B artists, with the likes of Chicago, REO Speedwagon, Gladys Knight and The Doobie Brothers among those set to play the plateau.

Plucking away Chicago from other local venues was particularly pleasing to Osborne, who said the park had been trying to get the band for years.

"We just had to bide our time and we finally got 'em," Osborne said. "We were also trying to get another artist, Ringo Starr. We put out a request, but it turns out he's not touring this year. There are a couple of bands we wanted and we were able to get."

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