Ten bands from the past, most of them with songs we have sung for decades, will flood Magic City Casino in Miami this weekend in what chief operating officer Scott Savin says he hopes will become an annual event.
The Magic City Casino Classic Rock Legends Music Festival begins Friday and runs through Sunday. Six of the 10 concerts are free.
"We're looking to hold a couple of marquee events each year, and we expect this will become one of them," Savin says.
The free concerts will take place at Secada's Lounge, an open-air lounge adjacent to the casino. Although the shows are free, VIP center tables for four can be purchased for $500 and side tables for $200.
The three shows requiring tickets will be held in Magic City's 750-seat auditorium, called Stage 305, which opened about a year ago. Cheap Trick will play outside in the racing grandstand, which holds a few thousand.
The schedule follows.
Friday: Foghat, 7 p.m., free; John Kay and Steppenwolf, 9 p.m. ($35-$125); Orleans, 11 p.m., free
Saturday: Blue Öyster Cult, 5 p.m., free; Three Dog Night, 7 p.m. ($35-$125); Cheap Trick, 9 p.m. ($20-$125), John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band, 11 p.m., free
Sunday: The Lovin' Spoonful, 4 p.m., free; Kansas, 6 p.m. ($35-$125); Herman's Hermits starring Peter Noone, 8 p.m., free
Cheap Trick also is offering meet-and-greet packages for $325 that include an up-close ticket, tour poster and gift item.
Savin was president at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach from 2000 to 2006, and helped to start the trend of pari-mutuels hosting concerts.
"Everybody talked about how bad it was when it started, that concerts were ruining the sanctity of horse racing, but it was determined you needed to have more amenities and more things for people to do," he says.
Concerts are now commonplace at South Florida casinos, and Savin notes that Mardi Gras Casino in Hallandale Beach hosted Firefall on Nov. 12, Casino Miami Jai-Alai featured America on Nov. 23 and Jose Feliciano is coming to Hialeah Park on Dec. 21.
"Then, there's the Seminole Hard Rock, with every big-name act there is," he says. "So our plan was if we can't be No. 1, we at least want to be No. 1 in Miami."
Savin says Magic City has been working for months to line up the classic-rock festival, and two bands pulled out because of musicians' illness. "The hardest was finding 10 classic rock bands that were still together," he says.
The casino, the former Flagler Greyhound Track, is at 450 NW 37th Ave., in Miami. Tickets can be ordered at MagicCityCasino.com.