Too Late For Tonawanda

The last two Saturday shows of the summer for the former Labatt Blue Light Saturday Concert Series at Gateway Harbor Park in Tonawanda, N.Y. – Loverboy August 23 and Rik Emmett August 30 – were canceled following the loss of its beer permit and main sponsor.

“We have been left with no other option except cancellation,” concert promoter Vincent Lesh of Concerts Plus said in a statement, according to the Tonawanda News.

Although the beer permit was reinstated August 21, less than three weeks after it was revoked, it was too late for Lesh to reschedule the concerts.

“The [State Liquor Authority] called him on Thursday apologizing for the way they retracted his permit and reinstated his permit for the last two shows,” Chris Ring, of Metropolitan Talent Presents, told the Buffalo News. “The problem was he already canceled the series the day before.”

The paper noted a representative for Lesh’s booking agency said he wasn’t able to line up a headlining performer.

Lesh was not available for comment.

“He just couldn’t put together a show with so little time,” Mayor’s Assistant Jeffrey Mis told the Tonawanda News.

State Liquor Authorities revoked the alcohol permits in the middle of an August 2 Dark Star Orchestra concert. Police had already made two arrests during a July 26 show, where event staff were caught allegedly serving underage decoys.

According to a statement by Lesh, “massive financial loss” was incurred at the August 2 show.

Labatt Blue USA, the concert series’ main sponsor, announced August 6 it was canceling its contract because of the bad publicity, according to the Buffalo News.

A Bruce Hornsby show was moved August 9 to the Town Ballroom in Buffalo, N.Y. The Niagara Gazette noted that, because of the relocation, patrons paid $20 per ticket, unlike the free shows in Tonawanda.

City leaders say that in spite of the bumps in the road they want to continue the concert series next year.

“The concerts will go on,” Tonawanda Mayor Lawrence Soos told the Buffalo News.