It starts with a wish list…
Believe it or not, our personal preferences don’t really come into play when it comes to picking performers. As our general manager, Ray Ritari, says, “I’ve been involved in shows for over 30 years and have yet to work with my favorite act.” Instead, we constantly keep our finger on the pulse of the entertainment industry. Talk with radio stations to see who’s hot. Look at what shows have been successful in the past. And ask fairgoers who they’d like to see.
Once we have the “wish list,” we start making calls to see what acts are available and how much they cost. We made our first calls about 2010 entertainers the day after the 2009 Fair ended!
But does it make sense?
Then it’s time to decide which acts are a good fit – and if they make financial sense. Since we’re a nonprofit, and we depend on ticket sales and a few great sponsors, it’s important that the shows we select be successful.
Plus, as Ray says, “We want to have a diverse group of entertainers and develop a reason for most everyone to want to come to the Fair.” We ask questions like “Are fairgoers interested in this performer?” “Can we keep ticket prices reasonable?” “Will the act put on a top-quality show?” “Can we offer the facilities and equipment the performer needs?” “Is the show unique from other events happening in the area?” And “Does this include something for everyone?”
If the answers are yes, we make an offer. If it’s accepted, we begin work to make sure the show is a success. If the offer is declined, we move on.
Why wouldn’t they come?
The reasons a performer may not come to the Fair are as varied as the acts themselves. They may not play fairs. They may only play larger venues. They may have to miss out on other shows because of the travel time to and from Alaska. They may not want to leave behind their comfortable tour buses and specialized gear. They may be in the recording studio, have family commitments or be taking a break from touring. Or they just may not be interested in coming to Alaska. Check out part one of our behind-the-scenes look at concert planning for more insights on this.
Getting the right mix
For whatever reason, we end up considering and approaching many different artists. This year alone, we’ve considered a couple hundred names and had serious conversations with about 60 – not including our 11 confirmed acts. And the work continues, as we try to pin down our 12th and final act. Like Ray says, “We just keep working at it and trying to find the right mix.”
Imagine if…you were planning the 2011 concert series. What artists would be on your wish list? Comment here or share your thoughts on our Facebook page. (Thanks to those of you who already have! We’re taking notes!)Learn More
While you can purchase reserved seating tickets to the concert, general admission tickets are only available through 99.7 KMBQ. There are lots of ways to win throughout the summer:
Imagine if…you won a set of Darryl Worley concert tickets. Who would you take to the show and why? Comment here or share your thoughts on our Facebook page.Learn More
The next Anchorage school board meeting will be held Monday, May 24, 2010. During that meeting, the board will be discussing and voting on future school year calendars. Want to make your opinion known? Here are two ways to share your feedback:
Just make sure you voice your thoughts before the May 24 meeting. For more details on the upcoming meeting, check out school board memo #288.
Imagine if…you were addressing the school board about the school year calendar. What would you say? Comment here or share your thoughts on our Facebook page.Learn More
The fact is…artists charge more to come here. While there’s many possible reasons, often it’s because the Fair falls right in the heart of many artists’ touring seasons. Plus, our dates are shared with many other fairs across the country. So because of the time it takes to travel to and from Alaska, entertainers frequently miss out on other shows.
It’s a delicate balance – booking entertainers you want to see, while keeping ticket prices reasonable. But it’s something we’re committed to.
Another topic we’ve considered – and reconsidered – is including Fair admission in the price of the concert ticket. For years, Fair admission was included in the concert ticket price. But frequently, fairgoers asked to be able to purchase their Fair admissions separately – like they do for other special events, like the rodeo or special shows at the Grandstand.
This allows fairgoers to take advantage of money-saving offers, like the good-any-day six-pack of discounted Fair admissions. It also allows volunteers, vendors or others already on the grounds to attend a concert without paying for Fair admission they don’t need. So to respond to fairgoer preferences, and to keep things simple, flexible and consistent, we no longer include admission in the concert ticket price.
Want to know more about how our annual concert series comes together? Watch for part two of our “behind-the-scenes” blog post!
Imagine if…you were planning the 2011 concert series. What would you do the same or differently? Comment here or share your thoughts on our Facebook page.Learn More
There’s three easy ways to enter:
Already a fan on Facebook? Currently getting e-mail or mobile updates? You’re automatically entered.
Enter by Wednesday, June 30 to get your name in the random drawing. The lucky winner will be announced Thursday, July 1.
In the meantime, check out all the great acts coming to the 2010 Fair as part of the AT&T Borealis Concert Series!
Imagine if you won…what concert would you choose? Comment here or share your thoughts on our Facebook page.Learn More