Promoter of Rockin' on the River moving out of Cuyahoga Falls, mayor says summer events will go on

CUYAHOGA FALLS, Ohio - The promoter of Rockin' on the River said he'll move the popular summer concert series out of Cuyahoga Falls and announce a new venue within the next month.

Bob Earley, who has organized the shows for 11 years, said he wanted to stay in the city, but felt like he was forced out after learning about changes to the 2015 season.

"These include shortening of hours and committee input on both entertainment and vendors. Because we fund the entire event, we find this unacceptable. It is therefore obvious to us that it's time to find a new home," Earley said.

On average, about 6,000 people party at the riverfront for 13 Fridays in the summer.

Earley's last concert will be August 29. He has talked to six or seven cities, including Bedford, about hosting  national tribute bands next year on Fridays and Saturdays.

Cuyahoga Falls Mayor Don Walters scoffed at the notion that Earley was pushed out of the city.

He said four or five other promoters have expressed interest in renting the amphitheater area and the city is allowing anyone, including Earley, to fill out an application proposal.

"It's not fair to grant it to one person when we don't know what else it out there," Walters said.

The mayor also said there hasn't been any decision made on the hours of 2015 concerts or on what type of bands will take the stage.

He doesn't believe changing the promoter will have a negative impact on the summer events.

"Beer and bands will continue. Who hires the bands, we don't know... If there's another selection that's bigger and better, we're not losing out at all."

But Earley believes party-goers will notice a difference because he had "a dog in the fight" and invested more than $250,000 in the concerts.

"I wouldn't want to be on that committee for all the money in the world because they're gonna be crucified when this thing goes south," he said.

The two sides disagree over who owns the rights to the name "Rockin' on the River", so it's unclear if another promoter could use it for concerts in Cuyahoga Falls next year.

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