Hey Bangor! Can We All Just Point And Laugh At Westbrook?
Full disclosure: I used to live in Westbrook, right downtown. I owned Mr. Bagel in Westbrook. I owned a house in the Brook.... So I feel like I can actively speak for both sides of this conversation. It's a small city that's been growing and changing for the better for years. But from what I've read on social media recently and from WGME TV-13, residents are literally up in arms about the new concert venue, Rock Row.
I always found Westbrook to be an agreeable little town. Every year, they have a small festival called Together Days, and there are literally live bands all day, and into the night for three days straight. Also, my extremely loud rock band used to rehearse in the back room at Mr. Bagel. There are bands every weekend down the road at Profenno's.
In all that time, I never even heard of a single complaint. You could hear my band up and down half of Main Street! The only time the cops ever came by, one of the officers hung out and jammed on a couple songs with us. I won't say who... Hahaha...
But now, folks are losing the minds over these concerts. There have been literally thousands of complaints, and various city council meetings, demanding something be done about it.
But haven't we Bangorians been dealing with this for years now? Didn't we finally just suck it up and deal with it? Sure, if there's a loud metal show with a lot of swearing, the city gets a few more complaints than usual. But if there's a country show, you hardly hear a peep out of anyone. Which I find very telling....
But it seems to me, Westbrook needs to just get over themselves and enjoy the influx of revenue into their small town. It seems that's what we've done. Why slow down a bunch of city business because you have to hear some bass and a little roar of the crowd from time to time? Maybe it's time to put on your big kid pants, and let some folks have some fun.
Maybe it's also time for Bangor to high-five itself for being adult about one of the larger revenue streams our city has. Whereas, Westbrook just needs a pudding cup and a time-out. Be quiet and take the money.
Besides, like they say, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em. But a ticket to a rock show and let loose my friend. God forbid, you have some fun.