WESTBROOK — A major concert promoter that works with venues in Boston, Newport, R.I., and Hampton Beach, N.H., is looking to bring acts to a 3,500-seat seasonal pavilion in Westbrook, the city staff said Thursday.

Although Westbrook officials wouldn’t name the promoter, at the company’s request, information they gave at a public meeting Thursday pointed to Live Nation, which bills itself as “the largest producer of live music concerts” and operates 148 venues in eight countries, including the House of Blues chain, according to its website.

“In this business, they’re as big as there is,” Jamie Grant, general manager of the Westbrook Performing Arts Center, said of the promoter he wouldn’t name.

Live Nation Concerts is the promotional arm of Live Nation Entertainment, which also owns Ticketmaster.

Assistant City Administrator William Baker said the promoter approached the city in August about adding an outdoor pavilion at Westbrook’s Riverbank Park to the lineup for acts that play at its venues in Rhode Island and New Hampshire.

He said the venue and the contract with the promoter would be subject to City Council approval. Baker said the earliest concerts could start would be the spring of 2015.


“This is just a concept at this point,” he told about 50 people at an informational meeting in the Westbrook City Council chambers. “It’s not a done deal.”

Last month, soon after news broke that a developer was planning a seasonal 10,000-seat venue in South Portland with concerts starting this summer, Baker announced that Westbrook was working on a proposal to build a concert venue.

The plan for South Portland has since fallen through, though officials there have said they’re still looking for a site for an outdoor theater.

A preliminary proposal by Span Systems Inc. of Manchester, N.H., gave a cost range of $420,000 to $1 million to design and build Westbrook’s venue. A feasibility study by the University of Southern Maine showed that the venue could bring $7 million into the city annually.

Several people at Thursday’s meeting had concerns about traffic, trash, parking, noise and the effect on Riverbank Park.

“The question is, how much noise and how much traffic are you willing to tolerate?” Baker said.


He said there probably would be 12 to 15 concerts from May to September, and people could park in lots elsewhere in the city and take shuttles to the park.

Carson Wood, who lives near the park on Foster Street, was skeptical, saying it’s human nature to avoid the shuttle.

“I’m still very, very fearful of all the traffic and people parking on my lawn,” he said.

The plan would require the city to move the playground in the middle of Riverbank Park off to the side.

Lorin Smith didn’t approve of that, or any major change to the park.

“It’s a gem in the middle of Westbrook,” he said. “You’re going to destroy that gem.”


Bethany Mitchell, who lives right next to the park on Dunn Street, questioned what time the concerts would end.

“I go to work at 4 o’clock in the morning,” she said.

Baker said those details haven’t been worked out yet but it was good to get feedback from residents, so he could get answers from the concert promoter. He said there’s no deadline for the city’s decision.

“If the clock runs out and they go someplace else, that’s what happens,” he said.

Leslie Bridgers can be contacted at 791-6364 or at:


Twitter: @lesliebridgers

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