Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

July 12, 2013

OUR VIEW: New concert venue a hit

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Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — It’s only been one show, but so far it appears that the new location for the Labatt Canal Concert Series — the parking lot behind the Lockport Family YMCA and the Lockport Public Library — is working out.

There are a few items that need to be addressed, but the fears and concerns we heard when the new location was announced seem to have subsided. Moreover, a few problems associated with the City Centre venue are now history.

Noise, which was always a concern with the previous location, has been mitigated for many. On many nights people dozens of blocks away could hear the music. Now, one has to strain his ears at times to hear the music while standing on East Avenue. However, there are some in Lowertown who may not be thrilled with the new site.

It’s nice to be able to listen to the music while not having to deal with tractor-trailers rumbling by just a few feet away. There’s definitely more room to move about at the new site, and the seating area is certainly welcome. Sure, it’s difficult to see the stage when you’re sitting down, but most people would have the same problem at First Niagara Center or Darien Lake.

While parking is somewhat limited for library and YMCA patrons after 3 p.m., there were no reports of damage or other concerns from the two locations.

Vendors are more visible with the larger venue. Some people may not have realized some of the purchasing options that were available in previous years.

Speaking of vendors, Donna Eick made a shrewd move by keeping her cafe open a few extra hours on Friday; we understand she had an uptick in patrons. Other downtown businesses should pay close attention to Eick’s simple strategy: Stay open after 5 p.m.!

There’s a reason the businesses along Transit Road are open late: Many people shop after work. Closing your doors at 5 p.m. will not generate additional revenue. Try staying open a few extra hours on concert nights; it’s only a few nights out of the year.

Even area children got in on the act: Some enterprising youngsters used sidewalk chalk to direct concert goers to their nearby lemonade and hot dog stands.

Is the venue perfect? No. The sun is setting during the early hours of the show, so it’s difficult to see the stage when the opening acts are performing. No location will achieve perfection, but this new setup seems to be a better fit.