LORAIN — Rockin’ on the River is stepping it up for its fourth season along the banks of the Black River with a VIP ticket option.
At a news conference Tuesday, the organizer of the summer concert series, Bob Earley, said the VIP ticket package cost $300 a person. It admits two people and includes premium parking and full access to restrooms and bar inside the Transportation Building at Black River Landing, as well as an exclusive tent and two chairs.
“There are only 100 VIP tickets being sold and before Christmas we had already sold 62,” he said. “We’ve sold 12 in the last couple of weeks so there’s about 25 left. Without that VIP ticket, Jesus himself cannot get in the train station. We want to make this a place where everyone has a good time. We’re going to make this such a well-run family experience. It’s always been great, but we really want to elevate it and make it one step better.”
There also will be season tickets available for $80 a piece — Earley said attending all of the shows and purchasing presale tickets individually would cost more than $140. More than 400 have been sold.
At the news conference, Earley announced this year’s lineup, which he said would be bringing back some old favorites and some new shows as well.
Brad Mullins, the chairman of the Lorain Port Authority’s board, said when people ask him about the concert series they want to know if it’s safe and if it’s a good place to go with their families.
“I can tell you by a long shot people come back and tell me it’s amazing and it’s beautiful, so Bob has been a big shot in the arm for Lorain and our continued growth,” he said. “We’re looking forward to having him back.”
Earley said he remembered when the series first came to Lorain the residents often were defending the city, but he thinks it’s really “getting beyond that.”
“When you go onto the internet and see some of the negativity from the old school people, you need to tell them to shut the hell up,” he said. “This is the Lorain of the future.”
Lorain Port Authority Executive Director Tom Brown said one of the port’s missions is to provide opportunities to be on the waterfront, and he thinks every Friday night the concerts do that.
“Another thing we want to be good at is economic development,” he said. “How does a concert series help economic development? People come down and we have a safe and secure area on the waterfront and then people start looking at buildings.”
Brown cited examples like Speak of the Devil, a new bar that recently opened at 201 W. Fifth St. off of Broadway, as well as the new hotel that is slated to go into the Broadway Building.
“We’re all going to be working together to make downtown better,” he said.
Rockin’ on the River 2018 lineup
All of the shows are $5, unless otherwise noted:
- May 25: Dirty Deeds, an AC/DC tribute band with special guest the Michael Weber Show
- June 1: 7 Bridges, an Eagles tribute band with special guests Kings Highway, a Tom Petty tribute band
- June 8: ZoSo, a Led Zeppelin tribute band with special guest Paul Fayrewether
- June 15: Country Legends, a tribute to Keith Urban, Garth Brooks and the Zac Brown Band with special guests the Caliber Band
- June 29: Boy Band Review, a tribute to *NSYNC, Backstreet Boys, New Kids on the Block with special guest Recess
- June 30: Wish You Were Here, a tribute to Pink Floyd with special guest Colin Dussault’s Blues Project, tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door
- July 6: Draw the Line, a tribute to Aerosmith, with special guest My Drunk’n Uncle
- July 7: Hairball, a tribute to arena rock, with special guest Faction, tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door
- July 13: The Four Horseman, the tribute to Metallica, as well as the Ultimate Ozzy Tribute
- July 14: Bostyx, a tribute to Boston and Styx, with special guest Straight On, a tribute to Music of the Heart, tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door
- July 27, Appetite for Destruction, a tribute to Guns N’ Roses, with special guest Armstrong Bearcat Band
- Aug. 3: Eliminator, a tribute to ZZ Top with special guest Harvest, a Neil Young tribute
- Aug. 4: Shining Star, a tribute to Earth, Wind and Fire, Hollywood Swinging, a tribute to Kool and the Gang, and BBI, a tribute to old school hip hop, tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door
- Aug. 10: Disco Inferno with special guests 1988
- Aug. 17: Ultimate Aldean, a tribute to Jason Aldean with special guest Monica Robbins and the Ninja Cowboys
- Aug. 24: E5C4P3, a tribute to Journey with special guest CIA
- Aug. 25: Michael Stanley and the Resonators with special guest the Juke Hounds, tickets are $15 in advance and $25 at the door
- Aug. 31: Who’s Bad, a tribute to Michael Jackson with special guest Velvet Shake
- Sept. 1: Mr. Speed, a tribute to Kiss with special guest Tricky Dick and the Cover-Ups