Read our thoughts on City Stages

06.18.2007 by André Natta · → 2 Comments

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While Timetable’s down, how about checking out our latest editorial on My Birmingham about our thoughts on the future of City Stages?

You know you want to. You might even feel compelled to make a couple of suggestions yourself…

Come on…
 

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2 comments
Dystopos
Dystopos

I already posted this as a comment on Mary Colurso's Birmingham News column on City Stages' future. Here it is for readers of the Terminal:Some City Stages history:* 1989: 70 acts on 5 stages, $5 weekend pass, 38,000 attend.* 1990: 115 acts on 7 stages, $5 weekend pass, 75,000 attend.* 1991: 160 acts on 9 stages, $9 weekend pass, 150,000 attend.* 1992 : 180 acts on 10 stages, $10 weekend pass, 225,000 attend.* 1993: 195 acts on 11 stages, $14 weekend pass, 245,000 attend.* 1994: 195 acts on 11 stages, $14 weekend pass, 250,000 attend.* 1995: 200 acts on 12 stages, $20 weekend pass, 265,000 attend.* 1996: 220 acts on 13 stages, $20 weekend pass, 265,000 attend.* 1997: 270 acts on 16 stages, $25 weekend pass, 255,000 attend.That probably takes you up to the peak of City Stages' awesomeness right there.In my opinion, the festival HAS to scale back to where a weekend pass costs $25 or less in order to succeed as a community festival. The alternative is to try to establish a festival of national significance, which might be much more tricky. Some possibilities would be to narrow the genres so that you can put together a bill that would attract devoted fanatics of a particular kind of act (blues, funk, ...sacred harp?) by securing the absolute best in that field and engineering mash-ups to make for "can't miss" unique sets (a la Snoop Dogg + Taylor Hicks... but better). That kind of event could be marketed nationally.In any case, I don't see any reason to have more than 8 stages or to budget the festival to need more than 150,000 attendees. The site gets unpleasant when you have to trudge 6 blocks between stages through dense crowds. It's a lot to ask for people to plunk down $50 for an unpleasant experience no matter what talent you book.Another idea would be to break it apart into a series of 8-12 one-night concert bills through the spring/summer/fall in the $20/ticket range with 5 or 6 solid acts each limited to Linn Park to avoid having to close streets, etc. You could even coordinate with Art of the Rocks and the other festivals that use Linn Park (Magic City Blues Fest, Birmingham Intl Festival, etc) and perhaps co-opt the ASO's outdoor series to book some really special events. This is the kind of thing that the Railroad Reservation Park, when it's built, is perfect for.

Dystopos
Dystopos

I already posted this as a comment on Mary Colurso's Birmingham News column on City Stages' future. Here it is for readers of the Terminal: Some City Stages history: * 1989: 70 acts on 5 stages, $5 weekend pass, 38,000 attend. * 1990: 115 acts on 7 stages, $5 weekend pass, 75,000 attend. * 1991: 160 acts on 9 stages, $9 weekend pass, 150,000 attend. * 1992 : 180 acts on 10 stages, $10 weekend pass, 225,000 attend. * 1993: 195 acts on 11 stages, $14 weekend pass, 245,000 attend. * 1994: 195 acts on 11 stages, $14 weekend pass, 250,000 attend. * 1995: 200 acts on 12 stages, $20 weekend pass, 265,000 attend. * 1996: 220 acts on 13 stages, $20 weekend pass, 265,000 attend. * 1997: 270 acts on 16 stages, $25 weekend pass, 255,000 attend. That probably takes you up to the peak of City Stages' awesomeness right there. In my opinion, the festival HAS to scale back to where a weekend pass costs $25 or less in order to succeed as a community festival. The alternative is to try to establish a festival of national significance, which might be much more tricky. Some possibilities would be to narrow the genres so that you can put together a bill that would attract devoted fanatics of a particular kind of act (blues, funk, ...sacred harp?) by securing the absolute best in that field and engineering mash-ups to make for "can't miss" unique sets (a la Snoop Dogg + Taylor Hicks... but better). That kind of event could be marketed nationally. In any case, I don't see any reason to have more than 8 stages or to budget the festival to need more than 150,000 attendees. The site gets unpleasant when you have to trudge 6 blocks between stages through dense crowds. It's a lot to ask for people to plunk down $50 for an unpleasant experience no matter what talent you book. Another idea would be to break it apart into a series of 8-12 one-night concert bills through the spring/summer/fall in the $20/ticket range with 5 or 6 solid acts each limited to Linn Park to avoid having to close streets, etc. You could even coordinate with Art of the Rocks and the other festivals that use Linn Park (Magic City Blues Fest, Birmingham Intl Festival, etc) and perhaps co-opt the ASO's outdoor series to book some really special events. This is the kind of thing that the Railroad Reservation Park, when it's built, is perfect for.