EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The concert site is no longer there. But the band is coming back.
From “Surfin’ U.S.A.,” to “Good Vibrations,” the iconic rock band The Beach Boys is being honored Wednesday, August 9, to mark 40 years since they performed for the largest concert audience ever assembled in Rhode Island. After a ceremony at Bold Point Park on the waterfront of East Providence — just across from Providence’s India Point Park — the band will play a concert.
Parking Info: Bold Point Park »
According to the band’s producers, over 40,000 fans gathered at the Narragansett Park racetrack in Pawtucket to watch the band’s performance on September 2, 1977. No band has attracted more fans to a concert venue in Rhode Island since, add music historians Al Gomes and Connie Watrous of Providence-based music talent company Big Noise.
The commemoration ceremony will take place at 7:10 p.m. Wednesday, before the show.
Besides the band, Pawtucket Mayor Donald Grebien, East Providence Mayor James Briden, and representatives of Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo and Senator Jack Reed will be in attendance.
The concert is the first of six shows “Rhode Island Waterfront Events” plans to hold at the park. The venue has about 1,300 seats, plus general admission space for several hundred more people to sit with chairs and blankets.
“We were actually across the river at India Point Park doing an event and we looked over and we thought ‘Wow, that’s some pretty cool land over there, why don’t we go talk to the city of East Providence?’ And, we did,” said Michele Maker Palmieri, Owner of RI Waterfront Events. “That was going back almost two years ago. And we embarked on this journey to get our permits and it all happened at the end of 2016 and we got our final permits February this year.”
As for the Beach Boys anniversary, the city of Pawtucket is also dubbing the street where the concert stage stood “Beach Boys Way” at Big Noise’s request.
The racetrack property was sold some years after the concert to the city and then developers. The one remaining structure’s most recent incarnation was a Building 19 store before that retail chain folded.