Archive for Thursday, May 28, 2009

4,000 tickets on sale for Chamber’s Country Concert

May 28, 2009

De Soto Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Sara Ritter advises local country music lovers not to wait to get tickets for the Chamber’s June 20 County Concert.

Four-thousand tickets for the Chamber event featuring country music recording star Tracy Byrd are now on sale for what Ritter said was a very reasonable price of $10 in advance and $15 at the gate. Joining Byrd on the bill will be Josh Thompson, who like Byrd is represented by Phillip Morris, and Vandel-Snook, a Kansas City area act recommended by people at county music radio station KFKF, which is promoting the concert.

The concert will be from 6 to 9 p.m. June 20 at De Soto Riverfest Park with the gates opening at 4 p.m. The concert will go on rain or shine.

“With the prices so low, I think a lot of people may wait to buy tickets at the gate,” Ritter said. “But we’re capping attendance at 4,000. That’s all we’re letting in.”

Ticket prices were kept low with the hopes of drawing a large crowd to promote Riverfest Park, Ritter said. Early response indicates more awareness of the park is needed as some are expressing disbelief that a concert with someone of Bryd’s stature is really coming to De Soto, she said.

“People are asking me, ‘Are you really having that concert there,’” she said. “I think we’re going to show them.”

Tickets are available at the Chamber office or online at desotoks.org. Heavy promotion will start next week, but her office is already getting ticket orders after spots on KFKF about the concert, Ritter said.

This is Ritter and the Chamber’s second experience with larger-scale concert promotion. The Chamber opened Riverfest Park in October with its two-day Blues and Barbeque Festival.

After that event, it was decided to have a summer concert and a one-day fall blues and barbeque to spread out the work involved and as insurance to having the organization’s top fundraiser washed out by rain.

A number of Chamber members have stepped up to sponsor the Country Concert, Ritter said. That list includes a $5,000 donation by Engineered Air and a $4,500 donation for Oklahoma Joe’s BBQ. Other sponsors include Mr. Goodcents Franchise Systems Inc., Custom Foods, Huhtamaki Americas, Shawnee Mission Medical Center and Great Southern Bank, she said.

Oklahoma Joe’s, Mr. Goodcents, Angie’s Italian Ice and Frenzel BBQ of Eudora will be among the vendors at the concert, Ritter said.

The Chamber made an arrangement with the De Soto Parks and Recreation Commission to handle parking at the event. All money raised from the $5 parking fee will be given to the park board for improvements at Riverfest Park, Ritter said.

With parking for 400 to 500 vehicles, that could potentially mean as much as $2,500, Ritter said.

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