Sioux Falls musicians say it’s insulting to be asked to play for free at the Denny Sanford Premier Center’s soft-opening event.
City of Sioux Falls officials and SMG, the company that manages the events center, put out a call to artists this week, looking for local bands and entertainers to perform at a two-day soft opening event Sept. 19 and 20. Because of a limited budget, they say, they’ll be looking for acts to play for free.
Thomas Hentges, who performs as Burlap Wolf King, said he was sickened by the news.
“It just says that they have no value in their local musicians,” he said.
Few musicians in Sioux Falls make a living from their music, and getting paid isn’t what it’s all about, Hentges said, but it sends the wrong message when a place that clearly can afford it asks people to donate their services.
I actually called a local musician about it and said, “The mayor says they ‘might’ pay you.” He gives a sigh and a short snort and says, “Yeah, that means it doesn’t pay.” He pretty much voiced the same opinion as the others in the story, with all the money behind this place, they can afford to pay. I also called a city councilor and told them the sponsors should foot the bill for the musicians, as I originally suggested;
His idea was to have a FREE concert for the opening event that the title sponsors and other businesses in town could underwrite.
I am usually pretty hesitant about going to music festivals alone, but as you get older (and more full of shit) you usually meet people. This time I got the pleasure of meeting ‘Marko’ from Omaha, and had a great conversation with him about prejudice and racism in America. Marko was originally from Mexico, but has lived in America since he was eleven. He is a seasoned finish carpenter that now lives in Omaha and makes custom cabinetry. He kind of laughed about the way all races treat each other, and confessed “We are all the same. We have families, and work and lives.”
Then there were the ladies who drove 6 hours from Duluth Minnesota to see the Avett Brothers. Fortunately they were wearing dresses, because I think the one was going to wet her pants before they came on.
But my favorite were the two middle-aged guys from Omaha and Kansas City that could easily be featured in Viagra ads, they pretty much follow around music festivals all summer, and I think I talked them into coming to JazzFest. I just don’t want to see them making love in a bathtub on the beach.
I like Saturday in the Park, but I have two ‘complaints’ about the festival. There needs to be a tented/shaded beer garden and I think it is bogus that only one sponsor (Budweiser) has the exclusive contract on adult beverages.
. . . apparently before the general public even gets to purchase tickets. Not that I give a rip, I think his music is . . . ah . . . I don’t want to get into that debate today.
The rumor on the street and on the facebook internets is that Sanford and First Premier employees had dibs to pre-sale yesterday, also in the mix were many scalpers. At the time the sale was supposed to start today, 10 AM, there were no tickets available. I checked some scalper sites and best you could get was a ticket in the upper bowl (originally priced at $29, for $100).
First off, I think it is a joke to advertise tickets at $29 and $59 dollars when that isn’t anywhere near the price. Secondly, I think it is total, total, BULLSHIT that the first show at the taxpayer funded events center had a pre-sale to a certain sector of our city. Yeah, yeah, yeah I understand whose name is on the side of the building, but wouldn’t you think someone, anyone, at SMG would have had the common sense to not allow this show to practically sellout before it was actually on sale? We know that MMM and his ilk don’t have that kind of common sense.
I HOPE THE RUMORS ARE NOT TRUE.
I shouldn’t be surprised, many of us have speculated all along that Sanford and Premier would team up to make this first show a sellout. It certainly is, because they are ‘selling out’ the very people who are paying for the construction of the building. Looks like another Pavilion Great Hall, just on a bigger scale. The ‘have-nots’ paying for the ‘haves’ playgrounds while we are left on the sidelines.
Doubtful. I don’t think that a 68 year old is our big concert announcement for the opening of the EC. Remember, Subprime Mike is out of town playing with trolleys and tennis balls in Europe. He most certainly will be in Sioux Falls for the big announcement.
Jason Isbell is (in my biased opinion) the greatest songwriter in America. He and his band The 400 Unit have been touring the world on the success of their latest album “Southeastern,” making multiple appearances on The Late Show with David Letterman and selling out huge venues across the country. Here’s a great profile on Isbell in the New York Times Magazine. You can hear their music here: iTunes and more at iTunes; Amazon or Spotify or YouTube