Michael Rock’s Whaling City Festival Memories
The Whaling City Festival made news twice yesterday when the New Bedford Police Union announced that they were stepping aside after several years of organizing the annual Buttonwood Park festival. Minutes later, a group of longtime volunteers announced that they'd like to take over the event and get a crack at restoring what was once one of the most popular festivals in the city.
There was a time that Fun 107 was very much a part of the Whaling City Festival, providing nationally-known entertainment. Some of the bigger names that played on the Fun 107 Whaling City Festival stage were Sugar Ray, LFO, Next, Mya, Mark Wahlberg, Rob Base, Lisa Loeb, Shannon, Lucas Prata and a bunch of other Fun 107 acts that you'll still occasionally hear on the Back in the Day Café.
I'll never forget us booking Next and Mya when they were relatively unknown acts. By the time July rolled around, they had the No. 1 and the No. 2 songs in America. We had at least 10,000 people at the Fun 107 show. We couldn't believe how many people were at that show, and I remember how relieved I was when the show ended without any incidents.
Our discussion sparked a couple of funny calls into the Rock and Fox Show from people reminiscing about their favorite Fun 107 entertainment at the festival.
The Whaling City Festival has gone through many changes since these days. The entertainment has changed, the vendors have changed, and the amount of people going in and out of the festival has changed as well.
The real question is if organizers went through the trouble and cost of bringing back the Whaling City Festival for another year, would you attend?