Concerts Unlikely This Summer At Rock Row In Westbrook
If you'd purchased tickets to any of the handful of shows that were announced for the Maine Savings Pavilion at Rock Row in Westbrook this summer, you've likely received a disappointing email. It was an announcement that either your show had been canceled or that the venue was changing from Rock Row to the Cross Insurance Arena in Portland. the Brothers Osborne and Primus shows have been moved while the Blackberry Smoke show has been canceled. The only show still on the Rock Row calendar is an August 19th date with Lindsey Stirling. So with outdoor performances scheduled for Bangor, Thompson's Point in Portland and several other New England venues, what gives at Rock Row?
According to the Portland Press Herald, the issue seems to the continuing battle over noise coming from the outdoor venue. In 2019, some residents from both Portland and Westbrook claimed the music coming from Rock Row was so loud, it kept them awake and made their windows and houses shake. The 2019 season continued on despite repeated complaints with the idea that more sound mitigation would lead to an agreement for the 2020 season. Now, the problem has leaked into 2021 despite a live performance not taking place at the venue in the last 18 months. Without an agreement in place, it appears Waterfront Concerts is salvaging the shows they can and canceling the rest.
Beyond the noise issue, Waterfront Concerts also faces staffing challenges like many other businesses. Those staffing concerns could also be playing a role in moving the outdoor shows to an indoor venue.
The news of another season lost at Rock Row is disappointing for many concertgoers who had hopes the new venue in Westbrook would be able to bring in the same A-list tours that are featured at the Xfinity Center in Mansfield, Massachusetts and the Bank of NH Pavilion in Gilford, New Hampshire. Maybe next year.