By ADAM DRAPCHO, LACONIA DAILY SUN
LACONIA — The head promoter of LaconiaFest said that the nine-day music festival is on pace to open on June 11 and become the newest addition to the list of annual events associated with Laconia Motorcycle Week.
“Everything’s running right on target, right on schedule, very smoothly,” said Laurie DiGiovanni, who added that tickets are still available for each of the dates, which will feature several acts performing each day, in addition to other forms of entertainment.
Festival preparations are currently in the “build-out” phase, according to DiGiovanni, which includes the construction of the stage on the grounds of the Weirs Drive-In Theater, as well as the building of the “VIP Tower,” available to festival goers who purchase premium tickets.
“Ticket sales have been solid,” DiGiovanni said, especially VIP ticket sales. She added that, since Memorial Day, the festival has offered on-site ticket sales for those who prefer to buy their concert pass in person.
“We underestimated the fact that not everyone has internet,” she said. To encourage sales over the internet, the LaconiaFest website is currently offering a 20 percent discount for online sales.
Ticket buyers have been “from all over the place,” said DiGiovanni. Most are bought by Laconia residents, though they have also been sold to patrons from Boston, Maine, Vermont and Montreal.
The most popular dates so far are for June 15 and June 17, when Steven Tyler and Ted Nugent are scheduled to headline.
She said the festival has secured “ample parking” in a field near the festival site, available for an additional fee.
Those who purchase tickets for individual dates for Laconia-Fest will be given a wristband that will allow day-long access to the festival village, which will be open from noon each day and will close at 1 a.m. In addition to music, the festival is bringing in paintball, freestyle motocross by Keith Sayers and Friends, and burnout demonstrations.
“People are really going to be blown away by Keith Sayer,” she said, adding that his performances are “really over the top.”
Laconia Police Capt. Matt Canfield said he has been working with LaconiaFest organizers to provide additional police presence to assure the safety of the event, which has a daily capacity of 30,000.
“We’ve been working with the promoter right from the beginning on this thing – as far as security concerns, the promoter and venue owner have bent over backwards to work with us,” Canfield said. The cost of the added police details will be covered by the promoter, he said.
“They’ve done their due diligence by working with us to make it as safe as can be,” he said.
Canfield added that he hoped the event would become an annual boost to Laconia Motorcycle Week. “I’m kind of excited about the whole event, I think it’s going to bring some new people to the event,” he said.
“There’s a lot of anticipation” for LaconiaFest, said Charlie St. Clair, executive director of Laconia Motorcycle Week, adding that he expects many people already in The Weirs for the annual motorcycle rally will buy a pass.
“LaconiaFest is looking forward to being part of Laconia Motorcycle Week,” said DiGiovanni.
For ticket information, go to laconiafest.com.
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