Well, I am off to DeLuna Fest in Pensacola Beach, Florida. This is one of the “cool” festivals, like Hangout Music Fest and Bonnaroo, I suppose. What makes it cool? I would guess it is the line-up, as it is a bit more cutting edge than our Riverbend. The other festivals tend to get the acts like Cee Lo Green, Skrillex, Foo Fighters, Zac Brown, Pearl Jam, Phish, and more. Riverbend gets good acts, but the more current ones tend to be country. Of course, one of the main differences is price – Riverbend runs around $32 for 9 days. The others range around $200-$300 for three days.
What about the other differences? Pins versus wristbands, beer prices, organization, festival rules, seating, etc.
That is exactly what I will report on from Pensacola, Florida. Let us see how the “new guys” do it, as opposed to one of the oldest and largest in the country – Riverbend. I’ll report – you decide.
In part one, I can report on the price of admission. As mentioned, Riverbend charged $32 for a 9 day pin last year, if purchased in advance of the festival. Walk up price for the nine day pin was $45. A single day wristband was $26. DeLuna Fest is $200 for a three day admission wristband. A daily pass is $75. Now, let’s dig into the numbers a bit deeper. Riverbend’s website says about 650,000 attend annually. Divided by nine days, that’s about 70,000 per day attending. Of course, weekends are heavier, with maybe 100,000+ and weeknights are lighter. Taking the average of 70,000 attendance each day, multiplied times a $30 average ticket price, one can see that Riverbend has about $2,100,000 to work with. Compare that with Bonnaroo. They get 70,000 paid at $300 each, or $21,000,000 - ten times the Riverbend amount. You can buy a lot of talent for that extra 20 million dollars. Hangout expects about 30,000 at $200 each, or 6 million dollars to play with. That is roughly 3 times the amount Riverbend gets, and they only have 3 days.
So, the question begs – would you rather pay $200-300 and get a “hipper” line-up, or pay $32 and get a good, solid lineup of Grammy winning artists, some on their way up and some on their way down. Bear in mind that the Riverbend folks have done a stellar job of loading the side stages with great acts that hit it big right after their appearance at Riverbend. Most recently, that list would include Grace Potter & the Nocturnals, Jake Owen, Here Come The Mummies, and Government Mule – all of which are legitimate main stage acts at festivals around the world. The side stages at Riverbend definitely have the “cool” factor going for them, but the big money is on the main stage at most festivals, including Riverbend. Also understand that Riverbend doesn’t take in enough from pin sales to pay those big artist fees. They rely on sponsors, like Coca-Cola, Budweiser, VW, Unum, Meo Mio’s, and Tennessee Valley Federal Credit Union to help them fill the gap. The other newer “cool” festivals have many millions more in entry fees at their disposal to pay artist fees.
As I mentioned earlier, I will report on other aspects of the DeLuna Fest as I experience them. Watch for updates and pictures! For info on Hangout Fest, click on http://www.hangoutmusicfest.com .
Tonight we have great music right here at home. Arrested Development, with opener Rick Rushing & the Blues Strangers is at Track 29. Preston Parris and Tim Starnes, two of this area’s most talented musicians, are at Sugars BBQ downtown tonight. The Honest Pint has Leaving Miss Blue and Mickie Finn tonight.
Parking Day happens this weekend and there is so much going on I will just send you to a link describing all the fun - http://chattanoogan.com/2012/9/12/234134/PARKing-Day-Set-For-Sept.-21.aspx.
Friday night features Donavan Johson and Kai Miano at Charles & Myrtles Coffee House at the Christ Unity Church. Saturday night, Charles & Myrtles features Jeni Hankins and Billy Kemp. Summer Hullender and Tim Starnes appear at Ringgold Acoustic Café. Over at the Chattanoogan Hotel in the Foundry Lounge, Priscilla & Little Rickee entertain the crowds. My friends Soul Survivor rock Bud’s Sportsbar Friday & Saturday nights. Next Wednesday, Bud’s has the great Arlo Gilliam performing.
JJ’s Bohemia has a full slate on tap this weekend, with Wick-it The Instigator on Friday, Lee Bains and GloryFires, the Nim Nims, the Tammys, and monocots on Saturday night. Wet Noise and Burning Itch appear at JJ’s on Sunday Night.
Nathan Farrow will be at T-Bones on Friday night. The wonderful Buckner Brothers are at Sugars this weekend, with world class sax player Carle Vickers playing with them. The Hillbilly Sins are up in Cleveland at Pokey’s Saturday night.
Saturday, make plans to attend the North Georgia Amphitheatre for the Althea Reunion Benefit for the family of Ray Collins. Fans of the band Althea – this is your chance to see them perform again. Tim Lewis and Aunt Betty will also appear on the bill. For more info, try https://www.facebook.com/BenefitConcertForTheFamilyOfRayCollins.
Sunday, Chattanooga’s own Deacon Bluz and his band will be appearing at Midtown Music Hall for an evening of old school blues in its finest form. It’s free if you arrive before 7 p.m. and they have $1 beer all night.
For local music info, try www.chattanoogaentertainers.com or www.chattanooganightscope.com. They both have great local music info and schedules. For local info on Country music, try Jim Boles’ site www.chattacountry.ning.com.
Email Bob Payne at firstname.lastname@example.org or catch him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/davrik2000 .