Monday, May 08, 2006

Everything But The Obvious

I had a feeling, and sure enough: Beale Street Music Festival attendance was down. Look at how the head organiser explains why:
Hampton blamed the threatening weather, the high cost of gas and a general slump in entertainment industry revenues for the downturn. She said about 40 percent of Beale Street Music Festival attendees each year come from outside a 200-mile radius of Memphis, but advance ticket sales were down about 15 percent this year, meaning the event needed heavy walk-up business to generate enough revenue to cover expenses.
Yeeeaaaahh .... If advance sales are down, then it's because the line-up itself was unappealing. Weather's not responsible there. Hampton's spouting a load of PR bull.

Right after the line-up was announced, the general reaction I heard was "meh." Too many old artists and groups still hanging in there; too many also-rans. Not a lot in the way of sizzle and hot.

And let me point out this convoluted bit of misdirection from article writer John Beifuss:
That means that the tightly budgeted music festival likely will not make a profit this year for only the third time since 1999 ....
That's only an eight year stretch, if he's being inclusive with his years. So three times in eight years is nearly half the time, not only. He's apparently trying to make it sound more rare than it really it for the BSMF to not break even.

And that's bad news for next year, because now they don't have a lot of extra to work with in buying PR and making advance bookings. Maybe for the City, too, which might be pressured to kick in money to make up the slack. Here's hoping that Hampton will be open to informed suggestions about next year's line-up.

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