Thursday, July 18, 2019

Buked and Scorned at Open Spaces

Partly because an obscenely large portion of my 2019 budget is dedicated to musical tourism, I spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about the fallout from the Kansas City Jazz & Heritage Festival (2017) and the Open Spaces festival (2018).  Both city-sponsored, artistically-thrilling endeavors were financial debacles.  An otherwise fascinating new article in The Pitch buries the lede.  Emily Park reports that “only 4,000 tickets were collected” for the three concerts at Starlight Theatre promoted by Open Spaces as The Weekend.  Just 4,000 of the cumulative 24,000 tickets that were available for concerts at Starlight Theatre headlined by the Roots, Janelle Monaé and Vijay Iyer were sold.  Even if all three concerts were condensed into a single show, paying customers would have filled only half of the 8,000-capacity Starlight Theatre.  Sometimes I hate being right.  As I predicted at the time (including on a segment of KCUR’s Up To Date program dedicated to the topic), the attendance figures for the most recent area concerts by the Roots (1,200), Monaé (2,000) and Iyer (200) indicated that trouble was brewing.  I was roundly ‘buked and scorned for forecasting the easily calculable outcome.  In an ongoing effort to fill the artistic void in Kansas City caused by the disaster, I’m currently planning my third music-oriented trip of 2019.

I write weekly concert previews for The Kansas City Star.

I reviewed an appearance by Ryan Keberle & Catharsis at the National World War I Museum and Memorial at Plastic Sax.

(Original image of a woefully attended Open Spaces performances by There Stands the Glass.)


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