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 â€˜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.
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;
â€¢ Start the shows at 7:30 PM on Friday and Saturdays
â€¢ Turn up the volume
â€¢ Allow people to bring their own beer and wine
â€¢ 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).
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.
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.’
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.