The New England Music Awards will not take place in Lowell next year.
The New England Music Awards will not take place in Lowell next year.

The plan for this week's Nightlife column was to look at the summer lineups for Greater Lowell and beyond, but so much news has happened, particularly on Tuesday afternoon as I put this column together, that plans changed.

Let's start with perhaps the biggest news of the week, although it involves an event that won't happen until next year.

The very popular New England Music Awards is leaving Lowell after spending the last two years here with events at the Lowell Memorial Auditorium and throughout the city.

We got an email Tuesday afternoon from NEMA co-founder Joseph Graham announcing that it has moved to The Back Bay Event Center/Hancock Theater in Copley Square in Boston. The 2015 New England Music Awards will take place on Sunday, April 12, at 7 p.m.

Graham told me in a follow-up email: "It was NEMA's decision (to leave Lowell) and not one I wanted to make. I think Lowell is the perfect city for this event. I think it had a great future in Lowell, and I think the city has everything to gain by having it in Lowell, but for two years, we just couldn't seem to get the financial support we needed. It's a risk I simply cannot take again."

Graham admitted that with the crush of events taking place in Boston, including the winter Boston Music Awards, that his biggest reservation is being "swallowed up" in Boston. "It has the potential to be just another event there. Lowell was perfect! Definitely a disappointment to me."


That said, all is not lost for Lowell. Graham admitted he has a hold for an April 2016 date at the Lowell Memorial Auditorium so hopefully this is a one-year hiccup. The event made for a popular attraction during WinterFest this past year and given that Lowell has embraced the arts so publicly, with Mill No. 5 and beyond, it's a tough break to lose an event that drew tourists from throughout New England.

Nick Drummond takes on Mike Hurlburt at LMA on Friday
Nick Drummond takes on Mike Hurlburt at LMA on Friday

That's not the only bad news to report this week. We got an email late Tuesday afternoon from Duncan Sheik's publicist letting us know that his Father's Day show at the Bull Run Restaurant in Shirley had been cancelled. We couldn't get an answer as to the reason, but checking the Bull Run website shows the event no longer listed.

In happier news, albeit not exactly music-related, the Lowell Memorial Auditorium is hosting a mixed martial events event on Friday night. I believe it's the first time that LMA has hosted MMA, having held Golden Gloves boxing events seemingly forever.

This event, the East Coast Fighting Championship, begins with a block party from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. that will feature music, food and beverages until the first fight at 7:30 p.m. Tickets remain available for the fights, which include two welterweight co-main events featuring two Lowell natives. The first main event features Lowell's Nick Drummond against Mike Hurlburt from Team Triumph. The second main event has Lowell's Joe Cloutier taking on David Bolduc.

Tickets are available at and the box office.

Tickets also go on sale Friday at 10 a.m. for A Day To Remember, who come to the Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell on Tuesday, Sept. 9, at 6:30 p.m., with Bring Me The Horizon and Chiodos. Tickets will be available at and the box office.

Well, looks like we've run out of space, so we'll get to those other area venues next week... unless it's another crazy news week!