Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

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December 19, 2013

Concert series saved?

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — Facing the prospect of a concert-less summer in Lockport, a team of movers and shakers in the area assembled to come up with a way to save the Canal Concert Series without the annual contribution that the city has given it since its inception.

The model to make that happen, one of the organizers told the Union-Sun & Journal this week — on the condition that he not be named — is to maintain the sponsors that the series previously had and recoup the city’s financial contribution by charging admission fees.

Without city funding, “you’re looking at a shortfall of $10,000 to $15,000 per show,” the organizer said. “We’re tinkering with a lot of different models. It may be where you purchase a concert admission and a drink at the same time. A package deal.”

At $5 per head and 3,000 concert goers, the shortfall is made up quickly, he said, adding, “Three thousand people is nothing compared to what the concerts have drawn in the past.”

A $5 ticket might not net the series itself $5, though. Depending on how tickets are sold, the series could lose as much as 40 percent of the ticket price from the “delivery system,” so it may be best to just charge at the gate, he noted.

The question, is, of course, would people be willing to pay $5 per show? Artpark’s free shows had twice as many visitors as its paid shows.

“Those are all things that you’ve got to look at,” the organizer said.

Also to keep the series going, organizers would need to have past sponsors remain sponsors in the future. The team is confident that can happen.

“At the end of the day, this is a very successful series. People saw value in it and they still see value in it. Ultimately, this is all for the betterment of the community,” the organizer said, adding that he’s confident the sponsors feel the same way and will want to continue to have their name associated with it.

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