“Actually this year went pretty good,” says main man Chris Fritz. “We were very aware of the economy and what’s going on, so we played it pretty close to the vest and all of our shows were successful. And we were still able to do our green initiatives and keep our prices down. So it was a good year. We didn’t make huge money, but we made enough to make it into the next year.”
Therein lies the good news for concertgoers who were worried about Sandstone’s future. With Starlight Theatre, the Crossroads, Beaumont Back Yard and what’s (barely) left of the City Market, there are five substantial size outdoor venues operating and competing in the local marketplace.
“We renewed our deal for next year with the county and with our sponsor Capital Federal,” Fritz says. “So we’re pretty excited about 2010. It’s just a matter now of getting the right events. We’ll probably do another 12 to 15 events there next year – the Great American Barbecue Festival is coming back again – and we’ll have seven or eight radio festivals, like Mix 93.3 FM’s Red, White & Boom, The Buzz’s Beach Ball and KPRS’ Summer Jam.“
The highlight of the 2009 season?
“Oh, the Killers, Kid Rock and Blink 182,” Fritz says. “Those were three awesome shows we had that were packed – great shows, great production. And you know, the fans were pleased. And O.A.R. gave us great appreciation for all our green initiatives, which was very heartening.”
Wildest thing to go down in 2009?
“I don’t know that there’s anything that appears to be wild anymore,” Fritz muses. “I think it’s just a tradition here, people plan to have a wild time and cut loose. I mean, there weren’t any riots or people being crazy or out of control.”
Which brings us to the subject of planned changes for the year ahead…
“Well, we’re trying to do do more beautification,” Fritz says. “To make it feel like an even more natural environment. But we’re not tearing anything down.”