East Providence Council approves Bold Point Park concert series extension

Live Nation lease agreement covers entire 2020 season of events

By Mike Rego
Posted 10/18/19

EAST PROVIDENCE — The seasonal concert series at Bold Point Park will continue at that location for at least the next year and a half, pending the construction of a permanent facility a few …

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East Providence Council approves Bold Point Park concert series extension

Live Nation lease agreement covers entire 2020 season of events

Posted

EAST PROVIDENCE — The seasonal concert series at Bold Point Park will continue at that location for at least the next year and a half, pending the construction of a permanent facility a few hundreds yards down the shoreline.

The City Council at its October 15 meeting approved a contract extension with the national booking agency, Live Nation Worldwide Inc., covering the 2020 concert season through the middle of June 2021.

It’s expected around that time the local promoters involved in the operation, Rhode Island Waterfront Enterprises LLC, will have built a dedicated amphitheater at the South Quay, which sits just south of Bold Point Park off the Providence River. Waterfront Enterprises bought the 33-acre site earlier this year from the Providence and Worcester Railroad through its parent company Genesee & Wyoming Inc., of Darien, Conn., for $4.5 million.

The initial three-year contract penned between the parties bringing the series to the city from its former temporary location across the river in Providence at India Point Park was set to expire at the end of the month. The series long had its roots as a similar seasonal operation in Newport before moving to India Point about five years ago.

The extension sets up a series of three six-month agreements. As included in the existing pact, Live Nation will promote between 20-30 shows per season, including music, comedy, so-called private events and public events such as local graduations, charitable events and festivals.

Also continued is a per ticket fee schedule to be paid to the city. East Providence will receive $1.20 for every ticket sold to a public event, which is the same number as was paid this past season in the final year of the original contract, and $1 per ticket sold to private events.

The council just recently learned during its discussions on the proposed Fiscal Year 2019-20 municipal budget the promoters have to date paid the city approximately $68,000 through the first three years of the agreement. Again, as was done previously, the money the city derives from ticket sales is earmarked for a dedicated account for use by the East Providence Parks and Recreation departments.

According to the purchase and sales agreement for the South Quay parcel, the intent of Waterfront Enterprises is to develop it into a mixed-use facility to not only include the concert venue, but also a port for recreational boaters and tourists vessels. It could also be a location for offshore wind power.

The resolution introducing the agreement to the council, brought to the floor by Ward 2 rep Anna Sousa in whose district both the current and future venues are situated, coincided with the first reading of an ordinance on a new Tax Incremental Financing (TIF) agreement between the city and the Chevron Corporation, which owns properties adjacent to the South Quay.

“They’ve done wonderful things in our community. They have phenomenal Bold Point concerts. Many of you have attended those. They’ve been an asset to the community. And we’ve had a wonderful relationship and partnership with them,” Ms. Sousa said while introducing the Live Nation resolution. “As we know they have purchased some property and are looking to build a permanent facility in the city for continued events and concerts. But they do, while they undergo land surveying and all that is involved in the developing of the property that purchased, they are asking for an extension on their lease.”

Chevron is seeking a second TIF in the amount of $9.37 million for necessary infrastructure upgrades to the former Union Oil Company of California (UNOCAL) storage facility. Chevron is seeking a private sector partner to develop the site, a mixed-use plan which could include a hotel and other amenities to augment the concert venue. Late 2018, Chevron and the city entered into a separate TIF pact of $32 million for a similar effort at the old Gulf Oil storage tank field next to the UNOCAL plot.

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A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.