Niagara Gazette

Local News

August 18, 2009

HARD ROCK: Concert series stages finale

The Niagara Falls Hard Rock Cafe’s outdoor summer concert series will wrap up Saturday with national band Rusted Root and a handful of preliminary acts.

Beginning at 4 p.m., the event is being held in the recently completed Falls Street west pedestrian mall downtown. In addition to Rusted Root, there will be special guest performances by Matt Wertz, Matt Scannell of Vertical Horizon and local bands Agent Me, Free Henry and Son of the Sun.

Fans in attendance will have a chance to win an autographed guitar, signed by Rusted Root. Proceeds will benefit local charity Music is Art, a non-profit founded in 2004 by Goo Goo Dolls bassist Robby Takac, which helps to explore and reshape music’s cultural, social and educational impact on the community.

“We’re very proud to partner with the city and are looking forward to doing more of these in the future,” said Sue Swiatkowski, sales and marketing manager for the Hard Rock. “We’re hoping as these concerts catch on that we can bring in more sponsors.”

The series kick-off was back in June when Donna the Buffalo performed as part of the Boundary Treaty Centennial Celebration. Last month, Sugar Ray headlined the first concert on the pedestrian walkway.

Though the first concert attracted a reported 4,000 people, it appears Sugar Ray didn’t live up to organizers’ expectations of upwards of 7,000. Swiatkowski declined to give a final attendance estimate last week.

The free concert is the third and final act of this summer’s partnership between the Hard Rock and City of Niagara Falls, which has sponsored the series to the tune of $92,000.

Several city council members said they felt the relationship has been a good one for the city so far.

Councilman Sam Fruscione said the concerts have accomplished one of the primary missions: to lure visitors out of Niagara Falls State Park into the downtown area.

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