The Alberni District Secondary School Athletic Department is gearing up for its second annual benefit concert series, and organizers are hoping to mimic the success of last year.
In 2017, the ADSS theatre was transformed into a rocking concert venue for two days, with all funds going towards the school’s athletic department for travel costs. The first concert series, said ADSS athletic director Mike Roberts, was just about a sell-out, which allowed the department to purchase a new 15-passenger van.
The maintenance for these vehicles is costly, and at least one of them will need to be replaced in the next few years, added Roberts.
“Everything goes straight into our travel budget,” he said. “Ultimately, that’s why we’re doing it.”
Port Alberni is a one high school town, which means that there is quite a bit of travel for student athletes. ADSS has more than 500 student athletes, and it’s not uncommon to have more than four teams away on any given weekend.
“Every time we have an away game, it’s literally out of town,” Roberts explained.
Roberts attributed part of last year’s sucess to the department’s many sponsors. “If it weren’t for those individuals, it wouldn’t be a success,” he said.
The idea for a benefit concert series came from Port Alberni Boston Pizza owner and operator Ryan MacEachern. Boston Pizza is teaming up with ADSS as the concert’s title sponsor for the second year in a row.
This year looks to be just as entertaining. Elton John & Billy Joel: A Tribute to the Piano Man will take the stage on Friday, April 6.
“These tribute bands, they’re fantastic,” said Roberts. “They’re experienced and knowledgeable in what they do. Last year…you could close your eyes, and you wouldn’t know the difference.”
On Saturday, April 7, audiences will be able to hear the Heroes of Rock—a performance group with five musicians paying tribute to some of the biggest rock and metal acts of our time. This is the second year Heroes of Rock has performed at ADSS, but Roberts said the group will be bringing an entirely new set.
“Even people who went last year won’t hear anything the same,” he said.
The ADSS theatre will also have a licensed section for both concerts, which Roberts said was a popular feature last year.
Tickets for either of the concerts can be purchased at Boston Pizza or at www.eventbrite.ca.
There are two reasons to take part, said Roberts.
“You’re gonna get a fantastic show,” he said. “And 100 percent of the profits go towards our student athletes. That’s the benefit.”
Local group Alberni Teens Can Rock will also be opening both nights of the concert.