Live events haven’t hit their pre-pandemic levels in Erie County but they’re expected to continue bouncing back in 2022, with numerous concerts, shows and other happenings already booked at the Warner Theatre, Erie Insurance Arena and Bayfront Convention Center.
The Erie Kennel Club’s dog show, Broadway shows, Disney on Ice, “Weird Al” Yankovic, Alice Cooper, Brit Floyd, ABBA Mania and more are on the Erie entertainment calendar for the new year. Plus, the Erie Philharmonic returns to the Warner with live symphonic and pops shows starting in January.
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“Things are improving. Live events have returned,” Casey Wells, executive director of Erie Events, said. “We’re not where we want to be or need to be but we’re getting there.”
He said the 2022 budget looks much more like a pre-COVID budget than the ones for 2020 or 2021.
However, Wells said the coronavirus is still having an effect on live events, from fewer shows on tour to a hesitancy on the part of some potential audience members to join indoor crowds.
He said some market sectors, particularly associations, haven’t returned to convention centers in their pre-COVID numbers. Others, such as corporate events, are coming back, but slowly.
Gus Pine, general manager of the Bayfront Convention Center, said it had a dozen trade shows and conventions in 2021 and already has 19 planned for 2022. He’d thought they might pick up this past April but they didn’t get close to normal until September.
Pine said this year’s lineup includes the dog show, an auto show and a pool tournament.
“We are also looking to add a spring gift and craft show in April based off of the success of our fall holiday craft show,” he said. “This show is by local promoter Erie Promotions & Expos.”
He didn’t have permission yet from other organizers to reveal their events coming to the convention center in 2022.
Pine and Wells were optimistic about the new year.
“There is nothing like the live concert experience or live show experience,” Wells said. “It’s very heartening to see it come back.”
Here are some of the live events scheduled in Erie for 2022. Find more information at erieevents.com.
Bayfront Convention Center
Erie Insurance Arena
Disney on Ice, Feb. 3-6
- Emanuel Ax, Jan. 23
- “Music of the Knights,” Jan. 29
- “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice,” Feb. 26
- Olga Kern, March 19
- “Mary Poppins Live in Concert,” April 9-10
- “Star Wars: A New Hope Live in Concert,” April 30-May 1
- “Harriet Tubman” narrated by Harry Lennix, May 14
- “Rodgers & Hammerstein in Concert,” June 12
- Erie Phil with the Philharmonic Chorus, June 26
- “An Officer and a Gentleman,” Feb. 14-15
- “Waitress,” March 1-2
- “Summer – The Donna Summer Musical,” April 5-6
- “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” May 24-25
- “The British Invasion,” March 9
- “Alton Brown Live: Beyond the Eats,” April 7
- “Jersey Boys,” July 19-20
- Alice Cooper with special guest Buckcherry, March 25
- Graham Nash, April 2
- “Weird Al” Yankovic, May 15