The last few years, Bader Field has become one of Atlantic City's most popular locations for festivals, concerts and other outdoor shows during the summer months - and on June 1st, a festival called VetRock will help raise money for U.S. veterans.
Michael Merlino, VetRock Event Producer, said, "I think it is time that we welcome them home in a proper way." Merlino is an accountant by day, but for the past few months he's been organizing a massive concert called VetRock to honor Vietnam veterans who weren't welcomed home with open arms as soldiers are today.
Merlino explained, "So what we came up with; Saturday June 1st at Bader Field in Atlantic City, we're doing the welcome home you never received." VetRock will feature a lineup of bands from the Vietnam era such as Mark Farner, the lead singer of Grand Funk Railroad, and keynote speaker and war hero, Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North, who will address the crowd half way through the festival.
Vetrock producers say Atlantic City officials have been supportive of the festival. Merlino told NBC40, "I can't tell you enough about what Atlantic City Mayor Langford and City Council, they've been behind this, they understand what it's all about. To see them step up has been phenomenal."
Other Atlantic City officials say concerts at Bader Field have been attracting new kinds of tourists to the city. President of the Atlantic City Convention and Visitor Authority, Jeffrey Vasser, says having an event at Boardwalk Hall or having events set in different casinos is great but having an outdoor festival at Bader Field expands their ability to market Atlantic City as a different type of entertainment destination.
Officials at local motels, which were severely damaged during Hurricane Sandy, say they look forward to these kinds of concerts at Bader Field.
Sam Silk, an associate of the Knight's Inn in Atlantic City, said, "During concerts this usually sells out - this motel and most of the motels on the strip. It's very good for business."
All proceeds from VetRock will go towards helping U.S. Veterans in honor of Vietnam veterans.
Children under the age of 10 and permanently disabled veterans will be allowed into the show for free.
Anyone else looking to buy a ticket can get one for 25 dollars by following the link here.