Entries Tagged 'Levitt Pavilion' ↓

Changes for Levitt 2020

I first want to say that Nancy Halverson and crew knocked it out of the park. I think only 2 concerts had to be completely cancelled, and a couple, including Friday night’s show had to end early due to weather. We expected that.

While they planned on 30 concerts this year, they plan to have 50 next year, I’m excited about it.

Here are some changes I would like to see made next year to make Levitt even better;

Allowing people to bring their own beer or wine. I think it should be limited to that and NOT liquor. I also think that if people bring their own, they should have to get an ID badge. While JJ’s did a fine job, I think the city council could change the very simple ordinance that says Falls Park West (where the Levitt resides) to allow this. It really is as simple as an ordinance change.

Put in permanent bike racks. I think they could be easily be put in along the sidewalk on the West side of the restroom. I do know that FAB is working with the city to do something better and I appreciate it.

• Plant more shade trees around the grounds. I also think that they should get a sponsor to put an awning coming off the restroom to the East.

Take down bag search signs. You can’t search people’s bags without a warrant of probable cause. Maybe a sign that says “Suspicious bags subject to search.”

• No pets allowed. This of course would require a city ordinance that basically says pets are not allowed to the Levitt grounds area. JazzFest has NOT allowed pets for years. It’s not good for their health and they don’t want to be there anyway.

Have Friday and Saturday night concerts from 8-10 PM. It was disappointing to see a concert end at 9 PM right when the sun was going down. As I understand it noise ordinance is 11 PM.

• Move the restroom drinking fountains to the Eastside of the building. Those fountains sit in the sun ALL day long, I have never gotten a cold drink of water from them, at best tepid.

• Don’t bring a lawn chair if you don’t need to. This of course will be something people who are attending will have to do on their own. I never sat in a chair all season long and only sat on the ground a few times. Dance and enjoy yourself.

I think with some minor tweaks (I think Levitt will propose some of their own) the 2020 season will be fantastic.

Kory & the Fireflies played the last show of the season last night.

Best Levitt picture

It was a great season, only 2 concerts got fully cancelled (?) and tonight’s concert ended after about 4 songs due to lightning and rain. One more tomorrow night to wrap it up with local rockers Kory & the Fireflies.

I took this picture last night of the accordion player from the High Kings.

And I saved all my drink tickets from the concerts. Ironically, the guy who complained about not being able to bring his own beer bought quite a few drinks.

Another great week at Levitt

Four great shows in a row this week.

Val Halla opening for the Wanderers
Pistol Whipping Penguins
Annie Mack

Levitt releases attendance numbers

They are saying about 22,000 people have attended the 15 concerts so far (about 1,466 per show). They have been using clickers to count, and I would guess the numbers are pretty accurate. The more popular shows draw well over 3,000.

People are still bringing their dogs. Levitt cannot really control this since it is the jurisdiction of Parks Department and the city council would probably have to pass an ordinance banning pets at concerts (you know, like how they have banned people bringing their own alcohol – yet sell it there, that one still baffles me).

I was also a little annoyed last night when a volunteer said I couldn’t stand on the sidewalk because it was for people walking. I am well aware what a sidewalk is for and if someone comes along, I ‘can’ move. Besides, it’s a public park and public sidewalk. Next time worry about the dogs overheating in the sun.

SDPTV was filming the concert last night, so they put it up on the big screen which was kind of cool.

STOP bringing your dogs to Levitt

Before we get to the recommendations of animal health experts on the topic, I want to clarify, I love dogs. I had one for several years. I would take him on walks regularly and had a fenced in backyard for his outdoor enjoyment. Dogs make great companions and we love to show them off. Unfortunately I think that is the main reason why people bring them to outdoor concerts.

I wasn’t going to say anything about it until I came to a boiling point on Saturday. Two teenage girls decided to bring their very large, black, pit bull mix dog to the Levitt and sit directly in the sun. He was NOT a happy camper. He was visibly uncomfortable and panting at a very high rate. I politely asked them to first get him some water and take him home. I informed them that his high rate of panting was a sign of dehydration and heat exhaustion. They did move to the shade, and then I think they eventually left.

Besides this example, animal health experts have warned about bringing your dog to outdoor concerts for several ‘common sense’ reasons;

It’s Extremely Loud

Worst Place for Socialization

Your Dog Will Get Hurt

Food on the Ground

And as I mentioned above, depending on the weather, it can be extremely uncomfortable for them. While you may be very proud of your St. Charles you had to take a 2nd mortgage out to afford to buy him, in the future if you want to show them off to me, keep some cute pictures on your phone to show me, and let your dog relax at home while you enjoy the concert.

Levitt Cancels 1st concert of season

It’s too bad, because it looks like the rain may be way later or go around us. They also stopped the show last night at 8 PM. But hey, better safe than sorry.

I was looking forward to tonight’s band.

I also have been making some rough estimates of the crowd count. The first show was probably around 1,500 to 2,000 people, since then it has hovered at around 500 people during the week and last night around that 1,000 mark. There has also been plenty of parking and people have told me they haven’t had any trouble finding something close. I have also noticed people are car pooling, which is good.

Here’s some pictures from last week’s shows and some fun last night.

Click to enlarge

 

Make sure you are wearing clean underwear

This may as well be what the sign at the entrance should say, because it doesn’t mean a hill of beans.

They could avoid all this by just allowing BYOB, but there is always someone who MUST make a buck from a PUBLIC function.

First off, NO ONE can search your property in a public park without a warrant, and that person needs to be with law enforcement, Levitt employees/volunteers or rent-a-cops don’t count. They CAN search without a warrant as long as there is reasonable suspicion (like a bazooka, hookah or bottle of Jack Daniels is sticking out of your backpack or cooler).

But if your cooler is closed and backpack zipped up and they ask to look inside, just say, ‘No Thanks, come back with a warrant.’

You often see these signs at other concert events, but they are usually fenced in on private property and ticketed events. In a public space at a public event no one has the right to ‘search’ you without cause. But hey, the sign is a nice gesture for those that are paranoid.

UPDATE: Another Great Night at the Levitt!

UPDATE: Look what a little bitching will get yah. Sorry if I gave the FAB guys crap about this. Looks nice!

There is also another great jazz concert scheduled for tonight! I was actually surprised how good the crowd was for a Wednesday Night, and things are going very smoothly. For this just starting, the Levitt staff and volunteers are knocking it out of the park. GOOD JOB!

I also found out that a local bike club was asked to put in bike racks or at least put their two cents in and are looking to do something more permanent by next year. I was going to take a picture of about 6 bikes last night tied to one light post, made me chuckle. Bikers are always innovative when they need to be.

Levitt has put out a temporary bike rack

I guess I really am a f’ing dummy, I found this rack by the old Parks and Rec building. It’s obviously temporary and not even staked to the ground. With the around $4 million dollar investment made into Levitt you would think permanent bike racks closer to concert grounds and more visible would have been installed, hopefully by next year. Either that or another $25 million dollar TIF for another DT parking ramp we don’t need.

I also got a chuckle out of Lloyd’s sponsored concrete pad. I guess they blew their wad on the sponsorship itself because it looks like they pulled a Banksy with a couple cans of spray paint and cardboard stencil. Hey, who says our local developers don’t keep up with the latest artistic trends?

Levitt is a true gift to the community!

Yes, the Levitt has some kinks to work out, but it seemed on Saturday night they already fixed one of them (putting the wristband stand next to the beverage stand). They still need to work on the bike rack situation though.

Other than that, the most amazing thing I saw both nights was community coming together. Unlike the Pavilion or Denty or even the Midco Aquatic Center, you can go to the Levitt without a ticket and possibly see 30 concerts this year and 50 next year FOR FREE! The great part about it is, if you don’t like the act, you can leave and not feel cheated.

As for parking, I think there was plenty. I saw people walking to the event from 6th street and 8th street, and there seemed to be plenty of parking in the Raven lot. There isn’t a parking issue. I also think the Levitt volunteers did a great job of directing traffic and parking in the area.

As for the music, both nights were fantastic, especially last night. The band that performed was world class, and I enjoyed meeting them and chatting with them after the show. It was funny because I told three of the members that their trumpet player hits the notes perfectly (she is with the baby in the picture below) they laughed and joked with her saying something like “We told you so!”

I also got to meet the daughter of the Levitt founders, I got shoved into a photo with her to (God knows where that will show up!)

I think the crowds will get more diverse once more people realize the events are free (they will even borrow you a lawn chair!)

While I would still like to see BYOB, I think the adult beverage handlers (JJ’s) did a good job!

I would like to personally thank first the taxpayers of Sioux Falls for this amazing financial support and gift, like I often say some of the best things in SF are free to use, like the bike trail.

I would also like to thank the vision of Tom Dempster and Jennifer and Joe Kirby, and lastly all the hard work Nancy Halverson put in, Levitt SF really was lucky to bring her back and have her run this organization.

SIDENOTE: Please Sioux Falls, I know the previous Mayor started this trend, but it needs to end, especially now that we have a Graphic Designer as Mayor, STOP USING ALL CAPS HELVETICA ON PUBLIC BUILDINGS!