While conversing with a musician friend a couple of Wednesdays ago, the topic of outdoor music options arose. Specifically, the number of weekly, fun outdoor events, hosting live music, with food options and also a great family friendly vibe. My friend then mentioned an event that he had played the week before – it was the first event held at this unique waterfront venue. I told him that I wasn’t familiar with it, and I wanted to check it out.
That same day, I found myself at the Waterfront Village, on a gorgeous early summer afternoon. I wasn’t sure what to expect, other than that there would be food trucks, and live music played on a gazebo. In preparation for the concert, I searched for any type of marketing at the usual places online but came up empty. That meant that I was pretty much winging it. Upon arrival, the first thing I looked for were the food trucks, and sure enough, there were four. From BBQ to tasty shakes, I made my rounds.
The band was already playing when I got there, and it was a local favorite and Buffalo Music Hall of Fame inductee – Party Squad. I soon met the presenter of the weekly event, Kevin Dagher. We chatted for a bit, while I soaked in all that was around me. He, along with his family, organized and are currently funding the weekly event. His father is co-owner of the Waterfront Village property, and together they are hoping to utilize the outdoor property for these types of public events. “There is a lot of space here that is not being used by the community. A lot of wasted space,” Kevin mentioned to me. I had to agree – this seemed like a no brainer, and great idea.
The band performed on the gazebo, and chairs were put out on the lawn for guests to enjoy great food and entertainment. Food trucks were stationed on the street closest to the lawn, including Big Suzie’s, Street Eats, Taffy’s Milkshake Truck, and R&R BBQ.
I found the space to be appealing, and its use intriguing. The space is located behind the WV property, and can be easily overlooked due to their more visible neighbors – Canalside and Erie Basin Marina. Unless you live in the neighborhood, or work at the office building, chances are you haven’t spent a lot of time here. The relative seclusion gave it a ‘mysterious’ allure, and in a good way. I sort of felt like I was in a different city, but the reminders of home were abundant. The water, the view of the lighthouse, and the familiar skyline. The residential area surrounding it also gave it a family friendly feel.
With future development plans floating out there in the neighborhood, Kevin, a 22 year old student at UB, and urban planning major, feels it is important to keep the waterfront accessible to the community. “I would like this weekly event to be a part of the area’s growth.” He says. “We will be looking to bring in more retail and services to the community,” he said, envisioning future possibilities.
The third week for Waterfront Wednesdays, was canceled due to weather, and the next show resumes this week. In anticipation, they will begin serving beer, wine, and cider. A mixture of food truck vendors will also be in attendance. Party Squad returns this week as the featured entertainment. The weekly event runs through August 19.
With outdoor entertainment options growing on seemingly a daily basis, this one has good potential. It is very accessible by car, and certainly by bicycles (it’s right on the path). It is also another place where our rich musical community can do what they do best, entertain us. Make a point to stop by and enjoy a budding new weekly event by the water.
60 Lakefront Blvd.
June 17 through August 19. 5pm to 9pm.