Albion rec director suggests concerts move from canal to Bullard Park

Photos by Tom Rivers: The band Eagle Creek kicked off Albion’s Canal Concert series last week on July 14. The bands play under a tent with many of the concert-goers bringing lawn chairs and sitting in the parking lot.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 21 July 2022 at 9:23 am

ALBION – The village should move its summer concert series from a parking lot by the Erie Canal to Bullard Park, where there is a new amphitheater that would make for a much better venue for the bands and also the spectators, the Village Board was told on Wednesday.

John Grillo, the Albion recreation director, said the concerts would get a bigger turnout up at Bullard, where there is more shade, playground equipment for children, and more parking.

The Albion Fire Department could also use a grill at the park for hot dogs and hamburgers. The department would likely sell more food and beverages at Bullard than the current spot by the firehall, Grillo said.

“The bands and the people know we have a beautiful amphitheater,” Grillo said during Wednesday’s board meeting. “I wonder why we are doing them in a spot where people are uncomfortable.”

Ron Albertson sings “One Way Out” by the Allman Brothers during an open mic night on June 19, 2021. It was the debut event at the new amphitheater. That outdoor stage will host several bands on Aug. 6 for the Summer Festival featuring Rock the Park.

The village kicked off its canal concert series a week ago with the band Eagle Creek. The six-week series runs on Thursday evenings through Aug. 18. (The village approved a change in the lineup with the band Breakout to replace Jonesie & The Cruisers on Aug. 4.)

The concerts last year and last week have been attended by about 100 people. The events are funded with a grant administered through the Genesee-Orleans Regional Arts Council. There is no stipulation the concerts be next to the canal, Grillo said.

“I’m in favor of Bullard Park,” he said. “We’d draw tons more people.”

The board didn’t respond to Grillo’s comments on Wednesday.