OTW logo, selected acts revealed

Music will soon be floating through the air and on the water. The 23rd On The Waterfront (OTW) music festival—the state’s largest—will be Sept. 1-3 in Davis Memorial Park. “You Are Here” is the theme for this year’s event.

OTW covers 30 city blocks and attracts 300,000 people. The event will feature jazz, blues, country, rock, swing and ethnic music.

Medicine Man co-owner Sandi Kohn said the campaign was created from the fan’s perspective.

“We wanted to highlight that (the event) is the place to be this Labor Day weekend. In effect, ‘you are here’ in the middle of all the music and fun,” Kohn said.

Rockford Mayor Larry Morrissey shared his enthusiasm about the event’s opening act during a June 15 press conference at the Lorden Building.

“The mayor is a Pat Benatar fan. I think the mayor had a ‘Pat Benatar’ crush,” Morrissey said, eliciting some laughs.

Benatar and her musician-husband Neil Giraldo will open the three-day event, performing on the Miller Lite Great Lawn. On The Waterfront Chief Executive Director Becky Genoways was all fired up as she offered a sneak peek at some of the performers and unveiled the event’s new logo.

Some favorite sons—known internationally as Cheap Trick—will also be among those displaying and sharing their musical talent. Genoways noted the band took part in the 2005 On The Waterfront, and Morrissey gave them a key to the city.

According to Genoways, some creativity might be necessary to honor them again.

“You’ll have to have the locks changed, so you can give them a new one,” she said.

Genoways stressed the significance of Cheap Trick to the city of Rockford. She said having them take part in the event, after the release of their CD, Rockford, is phenomenal.

“It’s just a marriage made in heaven,” Genoways said.

According to Genoways, the event will feature about 140 performers. Other performers include Buddy Guy, Ted Nugent, Dickey Betts & Great Southern, Billy Currington, Cherry Poppin’ Daddies, Richard Elliot, Catfight, John Lee Hooker Jr. and Buckwheat Zydeco.

Associated Bank has been involved with the event for more than 10 years, Senior Vice President Tom Walsh said. Walsh said the bank has worked with On The Waterfront on three-year contracts for the last six years. Genoways said the bank was extending its partnership.

According to Walsh, On The Waterfront “is really becoming synonymous with summer in Rockford.”

From the June 21-27, 2006, issue

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