About Friday’s Buzz Beach Ball at Livestrong Sporting Park in KCK…
Sources say the concert was a stiff, likely losing in the neighborhood of a quarter million bucks. Which comes on the heels of reportedly seven-figure losses the promoters of Kanrocksas, suffered 12 days earlier. (By the way, word on the street is Kanrocksas may return next year. The idea being that most big fests don’t break into the black until the second or third year.)
But face it, it’s been a long, ridiculously hot summer and entertainment times have been tough. With some exceptions, Arrowhead and Farm Aid to name two.
According to freelancer / blogger Noah Homola – who reviewed Beach Ball for the Star – there may have been, at its peak, 10,000 people at Livestrong for Incubus. In other words, half a house.
(By the way, Homola did a nice job covering the fest. Not to mention bringing a 30-year-old’s perspective to the review party rather than the newspaper’s usual 50s and up suspects.)
Now here’s what the entertainment community is saying about the red ink churned up at Beach Ball and Kanrocksas…
That the Buzz blew it by playing hardball and not accepting ad dollars from Kanrocksas to promote its event.
The station feared Kanrocksas would hurt attendance at Beach Ball. And clearly, not being able to remind Buzz listeners about the artists playing Kanrocksas did hurt. Because The Buzz is Kansas City’s alternative music radio station of record and plays many, if not most, of the key artists that played Kanrocksas.
Again, the idea being that if locals blew their concert dollars on Kanrocksas – which had a larger, far superior lineup – they’d be less likely to pony up 12 days later for Beach Ball’s comparatively over-the-hill lineup.
In the end, The Buzz’s bad karma came back to bite them.
What should have happened, entertainment experts agree, is The Buzz should have worked with Kanrocksas.
"I think Beach Ball screwed up majorly this year," says one promoter not involved in either event. "They should have been best friends with Kanrocksas and teamed up to make both shows successful. They only had half a house anyway and they probably gave half of those away."
"The Buzz hurt themselves," adds another source. "There’s really no need to be at odds with anybody else in this market. Unless you’re desperate."
As evidenced by The Buzz’s last minute promotion to give away Sporting Kansas City soccer tickets to Beach Ball buyers.
And for the record, my experts pegged Beach Ball’s crowd count at closer to 7,500 – not 10,000 – with maybe 4,500 sticking it out for Jane’s Addiction.
Now, back to Rodney King – and with luck – the lesson hopefully learned from these two battling festivals.
Why not try and get along?
Take the ad bucks and cross promote. Work together. After all, we’re talking about "artists" and music here, right?