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April 19, 2018

Portland, in reversal, selects Live Nation for concerts at Maine State Pier

Portland City Council voted 9-0 Wednesday night to contract with the national entertainment company Live Nation (NYSE: LYV) to present concerts on the city's Maine State Pier this summer, rescinding an earlier decision to hire the company of a local promoter who pleaded guilty last fall to assaulting his former girlfriend.

But both the Portland Press Herald and Bangor Daily News reported that the council's decision may not necessarily keep Maine concert promoter Alex Gray and his company Waterfront Concerts from being involved in the summer concerts. Concerns about Gray's involvement center on his guilty plea last fall to a domestic violence assault charge — which was detailed in a blog post by the victim, his former girlfriend, who also spoke at Wednesday's council meeting.

The Press Herald reported that Waterfront Concerts, which presented concerts at Maine State Pier for the last three summers, has a partnership with Live Nation and could end up being hired as a sub-contractor by Live Nation.

Live Nation Vice President Bob Duteau told the BDN that his company has a formal agreement with Live Nation to produce concerts in Maine, but added that if Portland city councilors didn't want Gray on city property this summer, "I can make that happen."

The BDN reported that Gray's lawyer, Gerard Conley Jr., pointed out that his client's guilty plea to a misdemeanor domestic violence assault can be dismissed if he abides by the judge's conditions, which include not contacting his former girlfriend. He urged city councilors not to publicly try a case that never went to trial.

The BDN reported that Gray's former girlfriend, who so far has not persuaded Bangor to rescind its 10-year contract with Waterfront Concerts, said after Wednesday's vote, "I genuinely can't put into words how much it means to me for someone to say that they believe me and that I made a difference."

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