On the heels of Q97.9's 24th birthday, I thought it would be fun to share this video the Mike Adams found a few weeks back from the very first Q Concert at the Old Port Festival on June 1, 1997.

The Old Port Festival is no more, but back then it was the biggest summer event in Portland and there just so happened to be a new radio station in town ready to introduce itself to a big crowd with their stellar line up of musical acts.

We set up our stage on the corner of Temple and Middle Streets and brought a boat load of acts from the 80s and 90s. When Mike, Meredith and I got on stage we looked out and saw that the crowd went as far as we could see down Middle Street. A picture from the stage made the front page of the Portland Press Herald the next day.

Jeans and Q97.9 t-shirts were the official attire in 1997.

Townsquare Media
Townsquare Media

We had a couple of lesser know acts to perform and then these three superstars at the time:

Jamie Walters from Beverly Hills, 90210 and The Heights.

Susanna Hoffs of The Bangles


And the band Night Ranger

All three had played the Kiss Concert in Massachusetts the day before and made the trip up to Portland the next day.

Someone in the crowd shot video of Night Ranger's entire acoustic performance and it showed up on YouTube 24 years later! Remember this was 1997. Cell phones were mostly just in cars and the definitely couldn't take video. Whoever shot this held a camcorder for over 35 minutes to capture it all.

Sadly, the Old Port Festival is a thing of the past and big acts are a lot harder to get today. Luckily stuff like this exists on YouTube even if it's grainy and not in 4K.

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