Attendance strong for Music on the Pier this year

OBSERVER Photo by M.J. Stafford Derek St. Holmes and the Queen City All-Stars rock out Thursday during a performance at Dunkirk’s Music on the Pier series.

Dunkirk’s summer 2018 edition of Music on the Pier attracted hundreds for its next-to-last show Thursday, with an act rescheduled from Aug. 16 set to close out the series next month.

Derek St. Holmes and the Queen City All-Stars were the main event Thursday, flashing big talent while rocking hard. St. Holmes was in Ted Nugent’s band when Nugent hit it big in the 1970’s, and he and the All-Stars whipped up the crowd with several Nugent numbers and other songs from the era. Notably, they did a great take of “Stranglehold,” the lead single off Nugent’s 1975 hit album, which St. Holmes sang. He didn’t sound much different on it Thursday, even though more than 40 years have passed.

The Fallen Union opened with a mix of ’70s and ’90s rock covers.

A tribute to the jazz-rock band Chicago, The Chicago Authority, will be the last Music on the Pier event this year. Set for Sept. 13, it was postponed from August due to rain. The opening act will be Zen City.

Hector Rosas, events coordinator for the city of Dunkirk, said in a phone interview Thursday that overall, Music on the Pier has gone well this summer.

“Attendance is above normal. We’ve had great weather,” he said. Earlier this season, during what is the 11th year of Music on the Pier, the event went over 1 million in total attendance over its lifetime, he said.Between the 13 weeks so far of Music on the Pier, festivals and special events such as the boat races on Aug. 19, Dunkirk Festivals and Special Events has seen “well over 100,000 in attendance,” he added. The attendance record for the Fourth of July fireworks was broken.

Rosas thinks Music on the Pier is so successful, it needs more space than its namesake site offers.

“We’ve outgrown the pier, if you ask me,” he said. “But I don’t make the decisions… It’s just crowded. If you look at some of our photos of the events, there’s no place to stand.”

A venue change for city-sponsored music events would be up to Hector Rosas’ brother, Mayor Willie Rosas, and the Common Council. “We’ve been talking about Memorial Park,” Hector Rosas said. “There’s a little more shade and space there.”

In the meantime, the events coordinator is satisfied about the response to Music on the Pier, and other city-sponsored summer events on the waterfront. There’s one more thing coming beyond the Music on the Pier finale, he reminded: the Picnic on the Point on Sept. 8.

“I just want to thank the public for their support,” he concluded.