LOCKPORT – Country star Kellie Pickler will join a lineup of past Lockport favorites in the sixth year of the Labatt Canal Concert Series in downtown Lockport.
The eight-show, free-admission lineup, announced Thursday, will take place in a new venue: a municipal parking lot at Chestnut and Elm streets, about a block north of the former setting at Ulrich City Centre.
“It’s a much larger area,” Mayor Michael W. Tucker said. This year, there will be a lawn chair section.
Pickler, an “American Idol” graduate now competing on “Dancing With the Stars,” will appear Aug. 9.
Other performers on the bill include several who have played in Lockport before, such as 2012 performers Theory of a Dead Man and Rik Emmett, the former Triumph frontman. Puddle of Mudd, which was in the 2011 lineup, also is booked.
Kansas, which played Artpark last year, is on the Lockport lineup this summer.
“I don’t think we’re in competition with other entities,” promoter Kathy Paradowski said. “I think we’re able to put on a great concert series.”
Other highlights include the Led Zeppelin Experience, starring Jason Bonham, son of Zep drummer John Bonham.
Also, Emmett’s show will include local band D:Drive as the opening act. The latter band features Phil Naro, lead singer of Talas, a legendary Buffalo band of the 1970s and 1980s.
“We’re the only free concerts left, which is a great thing,” Tucker said.
North Tona- wanda’s Niagara River Rocks series, also booked by Paradowski, has free admission but charges for parking.
Although there will be a VIP section priced at $22 in advance and $27 on the day of the show, Lockport’s series generally depends on corporate sponsorship and beer sales to avoid admission charges.
Labatt remains the headline sponsor, and Cornerstone Federal Credit Union, Tops Markets and Heinrich Chevrolet are among the others.
Also, the city pays $8,800 a week to rent the stage for the shows.
“The City of Lockport certainly invests financially in the concerts, but it’s an investment in our city,” Tucker said.
The parking lot is normally used by customers of the Lockport Public Library and the Lockport Family YMCA. Tucker said most of the parking lot will be cleared Thursday nights and will be off limits Fridays, while the library, located at the opposite end of the lot from the stage, will have some parking until Friday afternoon.
Paradowski said that after some discussion about how to serve Labatt’s at the shows, it was decided to offer cans only, rather than draft beer.
The full Lockport concert lineup:
• June 28, Puddle of Mudd.
• July 5, Theory of a Dead Man.
• July 12, Kansas.
• July 19, Pink Floyd Experience.
• July 26, Jason Bonham and the Led Zeppelin Experience.
• Aug. 2, Jonny Lang.
• Aug. 9, Kellie Pickler.
• Aug. 16, Rik Emmett.