http://www.niagaraadvance.ca/ArticleDis ... ?e=3471225
The Tragically Hip will be headlining a concert in Niagara-on-the-Lake Canada Day weekend.
Although town councillors are struggling with the logistics of up to 20,000 people arriving on the Commons and the impact on surrounding residents and businesses, the California concert production company planning the event has so far asked only for an extension to the noise bylaw. AEG Live is scheduling five bands beginning at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, June 30 at Butler’s Barracks on John Street, with the Tragically Hip performing, accompanied by a video and light show, at the end of the evening.
With council’s support of the noise bylaw extension Monday, the show will wrap up at 11 p.m.—no later, promised Vanessa Arscott, the local representative of the production company.
Parks Canada, owners of the John Street property, are on-side, as are several other agencies, including the Friends of Fort George and the 1812 Bicentennial Committee members who are organizing Canada Day celebrations and may benefit from a spill-over of visitors to town.
Local hotels are putting together accommodation packages, hoping to attract visitors for more than just one day, councillors heard.
On- and off-site parking plans are underway, with 2,500 parking spaces on 13.5 acres of Parks Canada property, and agreements in the works for spaces at Niagara College campuses, Brock University and the Niagara District Airport.
Tickets are expected to be on sale by the end of the month—Feb. 25 to the public.
But organizers may still have some hurdles to jump.
Two councillors, Andrea Kaiser and Jamie King, wanted to withhold approval of the noise bylaw extension until the logistical details have been worked out and there is assurance that a production of this size can be carried off without negatively impacting on local residents and businesses.
But others felt that the production company should be given all the support it needs to move ahead, as Councillor Jim Collard said, “one step at a time”—the noise bylaw extension being the next step in planning.
Councillor Martin Mazza, reminding council that the Town has committed to being “open for business,” urged support for the concert and help with any necessary permits to stage the event.
A public meeting held Wednesday was to give residents a chance to learn about the plan and ask questions of the organizers.
“We want to make people see we’re real, we’re passionate, and if they have questions, we’ll answer them directly,” said Arscott.
The only input the Town may still have will be giving permission to close a section of John Street, with shuttle buses dropping off and picking up concert-goers at either end.
The Tragically Hip, with 14 Junos to its credit, is a Canadian rock band from Kingston, Ontario.