We Will, We Will, Pop Up You!
Since Bristol native Joe Archambeault began his group “Celebrating Queen” in 2008, he has dreamed of rocking Bristol. Even his friends recall this desire when Archambeault was famous for belting out acapella renditions of Bohemian Rhapsody in the halls of Bristol Central High School circa 1978. Now, his dream will become reality on August 4th.
Archambeault, better know as JJ Midnight, is the frontman for the Queen tribute band. Midnight’s group will be headlining the Main Stage at the Pop Up Piazza Festival and playing all the hits songs from the legendary British rock group from “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “Bicycle Race” to “We Are The Champions”.
“Bristol is a city of Champions… we’re gonna rock so hard Bristol will never be the same again,” Midnight said. “We’re also excited to be a part of a cutting edge revolution in building downtown Bristol back up and we’ll definitely be bringing the energy to an already positive atmosphere. Friends and former band mates will make a special appearance or two. It’ll be fireworks!”
Celebrating Queen, dubbed The Bohemian Rhapsody Orchestra – provides all the big concert elements that made Queen such a pop culture phenomenon.
“Our sound is larger than life,” Midnight said. “When you add up all the variables from the great songs of Queen, to the orchestra sound, to lighting and performance, people will be in for a treat.”
Bristol Rising member Noreen Johnson seconded Midnight’s sentiment that Bristol is in for an amazing show. Johnson has paid to see Celebrating Queen in concert in the past and is thrilled they will be performing for the community free of charge at the Pop Up Piazza.
“I saw JJ at the Warner in Torrington” Johnson said. “And if you closed your eyes it was like being at a real Queen concert! Their energy and showmanship will really ‘rock you.”
Celebrating Queen, The Bohemian Rhapsody Orchestra, is slated to take the stage at approximately 9 PM, capping off a Main Stage that will include more than a dozen acts throughout the day. The full lineup is expected to be released shortly.
“To me, at least this is the one time I’m gonna get out there in Bristol, a few steps from my old McDonald’s High School hangout (with Gerry Rulkowski)…,” Midnight started. “… And with this great band and my brother Carl (who carries the background vocals with his voicestravarius), we get to fill the sweet summer air with the finest music of our time, The music of of Queen. We’re pumped.”
Additional Event Info:
Last year media reports hailed the Pop Up Piazza a ‘Smashing Success’, drawing 15,000-plus residents and visitors alike — a thrilling community accomplishment signaling Bristol’s ready for big things downtown.
The event is being put on by Bristol Rising, the group of 2000-plus community members dedicated to the revitalization of downtown Bristol, in collaboration with Renaissance Downtowns (master developer for the Revitalization of Downtown Bristol), Bristol Historical Society, the City of Bristol, premier sponsor Power Fuels, as well as contributing community sponsors.
A detailed schedule of activities and main stage entertainment is expected to be released shortly. Festival activities will run from 12 NOON to approximately 8 PM. Vintage cars will cruise onto Main Street at 2 PM. Come 8 PM, the spot light will be turned toward a special main event concert headlined by Celebrating Queen, The Bohemian Rhapsody Orchestra.
The event will be held on the Depot Square Site (former Centre Mall), concentrated toward the Main Street and Riverside Avenue area, and will feature the renovated Main Street façade and street scape improvements. Main Street, from Riverside to High, as well as a portion of Riverside Extension will be closed off until 10:30 PM with bustling action.
This all-day extravaganza is expected to draw thousands of residents from in and around Bristol, that will provide a glimpse into an exciting future for our Downtown with ingenuity, activities, and all the expected fun of Downtown’s future piazza. Before actual construction, this is a wonderful chance to bring the atmosphere of the future into the present.
This exciting event reinforces the City of Bristol’s efforts to promote downtown as a destination, and we hope that it will encourage everyone to join in and help the City and community rise to new heights.