(I put the word “somehow” in the subject line because this has been covered everywhere and created lots of discussion, but maybe there’s a reader out there who’s been out of the loop.)
Beginning with tonight’s Michael Franti & Spearhead concert, the Old Mill District will not allow people to sit across the Deschutes River from Les Schwab Amphitheater and listen to the music for free.
I’d give you some of the reasons for the move, but since I wrote 1,200 words on the subject in Friday’s paper, I think a link will do: Read the article.
Hate clicking links? Well, here’s arguably the biggest reason among several:
The Old Mill is making the move now to curb rumors in the touring industry that Les Schwab Amphitheater is not a secure venue, said the venue’s manager, Marney Smith. Monqui Presents, the Portland-based company that books bands at the amphitheater, has heard in recent conversations with potential 2014 bookings that Les Schwab Amphitheater “is not the right place to go,” in Oregon, Smith said.
With increased competition for touring acts in Portland and Eugene, and from Jacksonville’s Britt Festival, that’s not a reputation the Schwab can afford to have, she said, especially in a music industry where declining album sales are forcing bands to make their money on the road.
“(Bands and their representatives are) looking at how they can make the most out of each stop. And if they’re looking at Oregon … they’re going to pick the (place) that they can sell the most tickets to and they can guarantee they can make the most money,” Smith said. “We’re getting a reputation that we want to nip in the bud: that we’re a venue that people can see the music for free.”
(Photo courtesy the Old Mill District)