Port Townsend's Concert on the Dock wrapping Wednesday
By Charlie Bermant
Peninsula Daily News
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The divergence from the Thursday night schedule that has been in effect since the series began July 19 will accommodate a pre-festival concert for the Wooden Boat Festival.
“The locals' party for the Wooden Boat Festival is a big deal, so we didn't want to compete with that,” said Port Townsend Main Street Executive Director Mari Mullen.
“And we didn't think having two beer gardens so close to each other was a good idea.”
The final Concert on the Dock begins at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at Pope Marine Park and features the Pitfalls opening for the Low Ones.
It is free and open to the public.
The kickoff for the Wooden Boat Festival, set Friday through Sunday, will begin at
5:30 p.m. Thursday in the performance space in Port Hudson and features four bands.
Much of the success of the annual Concerts on the Dock series depends on the weather, Mullen said.
“We've been lucky this year because we've had some really nice days,” she said.
“On those days, a lot of people have come down to enjoy the sun.”
Organizers estimated the crowd for the first few concerts at about 500, although attendance dropped off later.
Attendance was, on average, slightly higher overall this year than in 2011, Mullen said, with the sunny concerts bringing in up to 150 additional people per show compared with last year's best-attended performances.
Sales in the beer and wine garden were up about 25 percent over last year, she estimated.
Main Street Board Member Dominic Svornich, a musician who has served as the shows' producer, said that this season was a transitional time for the event.
“We learned a lot this year,” he said.
“We streamlined the operation and got closer to our mission of presenting bands that people don't get to hear everywhere else.”
The majority of the eight concerts presented this year did not repeat appearances by bands that performed in 2011 — aside from those that were rained out and didn't get a chance to play.
“We don't want to be presenting the same bands year after year,” Svornich said.
“We want to provide an opportunity for new performers, younger people who are just starting out.”
The exception was Locust Street Taxi which performed on July 26, repeating a version of their 2011 show.
“They are a local band, they are so much fun and have an incredible vibe,” Svornich said.
“So we brought them back.”
The family environment is also a draw, Svornich said.
“This is an opportunity for people to go out at night with their kids and listen to music,” he said.
“If you have kids, you can't take them out to Sirens.”
After being located next to Point Hudson for several years, the concerts moved to the newly constructed Pope Marine Park in 2011.
There have been incremental improvements since last year but 2013 will really open things up because construction on the park will be completed, Svornich said.
“Next year, we will have a whole new area in the back,” he said.
“We will want to build the stage so the band can be playing right next to the water and there will be more room for dancing and an expanded beer garden.”
Sponsorships by a variety of businesses, including the Peninsula Daily News, cover the expenses for the concerts while profits originate from beer garden sales.
“We had some great nights this year,” Svornich said.
“The first three concerts each exceeded the best shows we had in 2011.”
One drawback this year was the lack of a consistent food vendor.
“It hurt us this year because we didn't have an on-site food vendor but were lucky that Dogs-a-Foot and the Little Rose took up the slack,” Svornich said.
“Next year we will line up the food vendors well in advance.”
Jefferson County Reporter Charlie Bermant can be reached at 360-385-2335 or at email@example.com.
Last modified: September 03. 2012 4:53PM