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There could be some changes to the Party in the Park Thursday night summer concert series.

The mayor proposed a three-year contract for a new producer – Up All Night Productions. The previous producer was the Springut Group. Up All Night also beat out Sahlen’s Stadium, which submitted a proposal.

Here’s an explanation of why the city went with Up All Night in legislation sent to City Council:

The Up All Night proposal demonstrated creativity by collaborating with another promoter with a contemporary flair, Dan Smalls Presents, Inc., of Ithaca. Both entities book regularly operating, year-round venues and are in constant touch with agents. They book Oswego’s Harborfest and a concert series in Cooperstown and are able to block book artists, potentially attracting bigger artists for less money. The Up All Night proposal also focused on enhancements to elevate Party in the Park as an event experience, not just a weekly concert. Buskers, an on-site green team recycling program, and incorporation of local visual artists, and food vending enhancements are some ideas included in the proposal.

The Party in the Park concerts have struggled to find a footing since moving to a parking lot along Exchange St. several years ago and charging a $2 admission fee.

In 2011, 32,000 people attended the concerts – a 40 percent drop from the year before. This year, attendance was up to 36,900.

I’ve long said the venue is an issue and doesn’t make for a pleasant experience.

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5 Responses to New Party in the Park Producer

  1. November 25, 2012 at 12:47 pm Jim Tuite responds:

    I have long wondered why the empty space in Manhatten Square Park…is never utilized for concerts, it used to be a venue. I thought that the Jazz Fest would be perfect fit with of course some needed upgrades…maybe your group could explore this option?

  2. I don’t know if you remember when the Lilac fest was a much larger ‘music’ event Rachel. It used to bring national headliners to play “The Bowl”. That ended when people, supposedly locals to the park, complained that the festival was getting away from it’s roots i.e. the lilacs. So now an event 100% about music is going to be more of a festival? Sounds like someone in City Hall said “who cares what the venue is or how many people are willing to stand in a parking lot for hours on a Thursday in July, think of all of the fees we can get off of these buskers, artists and food vendors!”.
    Why does Party in the Park have to be downtown? How about the extremely under-utilized Seneca Park? Or if it is going to be in a parking lot how about at the beach in Charlotte? Is this a City event or a Downtown event? And why does it matter if it is one or the other? As a kid I remember events in Seneca Park like the annual raft races sponsored by the old 95 WBBF (1970’s, when fun seems to have taken it’s last breath in America). If the answer for ‘why downtown’ is ‘to keep people in the city after the concert’ that is foolish. Do people hang out in the city after Red Wings and Rhinos games? Any data on that? It seems like an event called Party in the Park should take place in a park, possibly in a different park each time and we do happen to have parks in Rochester. I am glad a better promoter is on scene. We have accepted shoddy booking decisions from La Beau (sp?) et al for years.

  3. November 25, 2012 at 9:14 pm RaChaCha responds:

    Expansion of casino gambling = hydrofracking the poor.

  4. Rachel you are going to hate me for this but I agree with justaguy. Why does it have to be downtown? Clearly there isn’t enough room downtown to make it happen in a quality location so use one of the many other city parks. Charlotte, Gen Valley Park, Highland Park Bowl would all be great. As long as it is in the city that will be centrally located enough for everybody who wants to come.

  5. Woo Hoo! Chalk one up for me!
    I believe the original idea post festival tent was “it will keep workers downtown” which I think it never has. All the more reason to move it. But then the city will be the tools they are and fence in a wide open field with admission charged at the fence, disallow coolers/drinks and food other than sold inside the fenced in area and think of 100 other ways to make it nothing like they claim they want it to be. Probably for ‘safety’s sake’.
    So it goes from a fun and free music based event designed to just get people into the city to a vendor oriented event designed to fill city coffers. Kinda like every single festival we have.

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