Entries Tagged 'Levitt Pavilion' ↓

Levitt returns with some interesting adjustments

As you can see from the pictures, it was a packed house which was awesome, and the weather was fantastic.

Two things that stuck out was the very long line for drinks, because in 2019 the lines were not bad at all. I found out when I got up there that drinks went from $5 in 2019 to $7 and you could no longer buy drink tickets, so you have to run your card or pay cash every time you go get a drink which I’m sure delays the line. The bartender told me though, I could have a tab. I asked why there was NO tickets, and he said something about a ‘city decision’. I’m not sure what that is about, because if it has anything to do with underage drinking, there is nothing stopping people from buying drinks for minors. I think they just want to slow the line so there is less intoxication. I also think they should allow people to bring at least their own beer and wine, but I will stay away from that rant.

My 2nd surprise was the sound. While the quality was fine, the volume was at about the same level as your grandma’s turn table. The volume has been turned down quite a bit since 2019. I have no doubt it has to do with Downtown’s ridiculous decibel levels and people complaining about the music after they decided to live across the street from a band shell. I guess all the trains running through downtown don’t have to follow those rules, but a Jazz Band does. I wonder what the sound level was at The Alliance last night at the Martin Zellar concert our Supreme Leader was attending?

I have thought for a long time the fun police in Sioux Falls would find a way to hinder the Levitt. As I told a friend today, ‘If it doesn’t have to do with youth sports, church or dogs it is NOT a priority in Sioux Falls and the fun police will find a way to kill it.’

2021 Levitt Concert Series starts Friday

To say I am a ‘little excited’ is an understatement. In 2019 the one thing that made it bearable to live in Sioux Falls was the concert series, I think I attended almost every concert and only skipped out early on a couple of them. This is an enormous gift to our community and I encourage everyone to attend as often as possible. The concerts are FREE to the public (that is what makes them special) and present award winning and national and international talent. I am a bit bias as a visual artist I have often been jealous of musicians and love live music. Besides the bike trail, the Levitt is truly a gem in our city. Come join the fun Friday where Ranky Tanky will open the concert series, and many thanks to local director Nancy Halverson, her crew and volunteers for giving us the true gift of art.

Nancy Halverson at Dem Forum for Levitt at the Falls

I learned a lot today about the Levitt that I wasn’t aware of. Did you know;

• Levitt (Halverson) must raise approximately $605K a year locally to stay afloat.

• There will be no more Sunday concerts (it was too hot for them) they may do the family concerts on Friday mornings.

• At the Kory & the Fireflies concert the SFPD used it as a training exercise for a possible active shooter. There was a sharp shooter on top of the Lloyd building during the concert.

• JJ’s sold $41K in alcohol at the concerts. I want to applaud JJ’s, they did an excellent and professional job. I still think we should be able to bring our own 6-Pack.

• Approimately 58K attended the concerts this season.

• The city is planning on prepping the land North of Levitt for event space that will be tied into the Sioux Steel Development.

Sanford wanted to be the leading major sponsor and Halverson had to explain to them that isn’t Levitt policy. In other words, Sanford wanted to pay more for corporate sponsorship then anyone else (and wanted more recognition of course). Halverson told them that ‘All corporate/major sponsors are treated the same and pay the same’. I thought that was refreshing.

It ended with Q & A, and I told Halverson she ‘Knocked it out of the park!’ and I encouraged everyone to go. I added, ‘Even if you don’t like the band playing, guess what, you can leave, you are NOT out of anything!’

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.