Hopefully, the struggling Country at the Amp series helps Warren's leaders understand and appreciate what goes into the highly successful River Rock at the Amp series.
Country at the Amp, a series of country music shows in the Warren Community Amphitheatre, is in its inaugural season. The summertime series of Friday night shows, created by Warren City Councilman and former mayor Daniel J. Sferra, has already suffered two cancellations and there is doubt whether any of the final three shows will take place.
No concert was scheduled for today because of the annual Italian-American Heritage Festival.
Coordinating the logistics of such an enterprise is monumental. Soliciting sponsors, signing acts, coordinating dates with other events, scheduling sound and lights, prospecting vendors and buying security, insurance and staff ... well, the list goes on.
Sferra and his partners found that out.
''It's all about attendance,'' said Sferra, who started 3D Productions with David Sferra and David Mazzochi to promote a series of tribute acts. ''Expenses were more than we thought they would be. We made a lot of mistakes our first year.''
That's to be expected. Promoters of the River Rock at the Amp's predecessor made mistakes and struggled, too. Now the series of classic rock tribute bands is a raving success, often packing thousands of spectators into the amphitheater and forcing an evaluation of how to increase capacity.
That's evidence that it's not the genre, or the day of the week, but the model created by promoter Sunrise Entertainment that makes this work. Warren's leaders, government, business and civic, should tap into this group to see how this model might work for other days at the amphitheater and other venues such as Packard Music Hall.