Entries Tagged 'Levitt Pavilion' ↓

When will Levitt share its financials?

While Levitt was very quick to tell us attendance this past season (Thank You!) they have yet to share the financials with us.

Here’s what I would like to know;

What was the budget for Levitt in 2021?

Salaries
Promotion/marketing
Artists Fees
Equipment Rental
Other

I would like to know where the money came from;

Individual donations
Corporate sponsorships
National Foundation donation
City of Sioux Falls funding
Rental Fees
Alcohol sales (what did Levitt receive and the percentage)
Special grants, etc.

There has been a lot of smoke blowing (not by the Levitt employees) by ‘other’ sponsors of Levitt about how much they give to the Foundation. It would be really good to know the actual numbers. Hopefully Director Halverson will be presenting those numbers to the public soon.

This is what ALL Levitt Concerts should look like

I was a little surprised yesterday with all the rain that the Levitt concert was NOT cancelled but to start at a later time. The opening act played until 8 and the headliner played to almost 10 PM. It has been my opinion that the concerts should ALL go from 7:30-10 PM on Friday and Saturday nights. As you can see from the pictures, this is what a night time outdoor concert should look like with stage lights. The sound was also cranked up towards the end. I can honestly say, this is the first time I stood in front of the stage and the music was loud. The band, The Foxies are a pop punk band that pulls influences from Green Day, The Cure, Blondie, No Doubt (the lead singer voice and dance moves remind you of Gwen Stefani) and you even hear the Clash, The Smiths and ‘X’ in their songs.

The only unfortunate part of the show was half of it was in the rain (I watched live stream until the rain ended and showed up in person) this also limited the crowd to about 30 people. But the performers treated this like any other show and rocked their asses off.

I have often said it is ‘the little things’ that can make the Levitt better;

• Start the shows at 7:30 PM on Friday and Saturdays

• Turn up the volume

• Allow people to bring their own beer and wine

• Ban pets

The city council has the power to make all 4 things above happen, if they just had the courage to do it (which they don’t).

Levitt, this one doesn’t go to 11

I finally figured out what the city, or should I say a developer, has requested as a reasonable decibel level for the Levitt. The story I was told is that the Levitt’s decibel level has to read 90 or below by the South Entrance of the Cascade Apartment building/complex, which I find to be an interesting boundary considering the level determined by city ordinance should affect the whole area. I have argued to the do nothing city council, who have literally done nothing about the decibel levels downtown (especially when it comes to trains, planes and motorcycles) that they need to be increased, at least on the Levitt grounds which is a publicly owned park. It is NOT the taxpayers fault or problem that a developer who takes massive amounts of welfare TIFs from the city built apartments across the street from a live outdoor music venue. If I were the Levitt, I would crank it up, and if the private developer doesn’t like it, they can sue the city and we can cancel their TIF. I would also suggest the next time they build an apartment building in a noisy DT area, they need to insulate the windows and walls.


I will say though last night at the Levitt I was pleasantly surprised, the volume was perfect, so they must be experimenting with the Spinal Tap amps after all.

This reminds me of the other issue with Levitt, selling alcohol in a park that by city ordinance bans alcohol. I have told the city council that this is silly and they should just lift the ban, let their be private sales AND let people bring their own. But like I said, when it comes to our city council doing things that benefit the public in general like noise levels and alcohol ordinances they put on the cruise control, look into their laps and do nothing.

Also folks, I am pleading with you to leave your dogs at home. They don’t want to be sitting in the heat and it is not good for their physical or mental health and as an audience member, I really get tired of them pooping and peeing around me. I still think the Levitt in coordination with the City Council should ban pets from the premises, or at least have an area for people that are too dumb to not bring their freaking dog everywhere.

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.