We need help find the site and location of the 2008/9 JPF Music Awards
We've always held our JPF Awards in Southern California, USA in the past. The venue we've used in 2004-2005 and 2006-2007 has unfortunately been sold and closed down. So we need a new venue for 2008-2009. Our first choice is to return to Southern California, preferably in the Hollywood area, if the right venue can be found in our budget. We are also very open to considering Nashville, NYC, Boston, Seattle, Las Vegas, Chicago or Indianapolis (where we're located).
Here's what we need:
Capacity: Room for at least 600 people seated for dinner (it's a very long show). Larger is fine but that's the smallest we can go as we've averaged 600+ people at the last 2 awards and this one will be much larger.
Timing: We need the venue all day on Saturday, most likely from 8AM until 2AM. This would allow for us to have sound checks for all the performers, a meet and greet before and after the show and an after-awards jam where nominees perform additional songs. We would also consider having the venue Friday and Saturday if budget allows and doing the Soundchecks/dress rehearsals on Friday night.
Staffing/Dinner: We'll need the venue to provide staffing for food and drink service. We can consider either off the menu ordering (preferred) or a buffet set up.
Staffing/Show: We'll need complete sound, stage and lighting crew for a 6 hour event plus sound check. We use one shared backline for all performing acts with some individual gear switch outs.
Budget: JPF is a free volunteer run organization, so we have to cover all the costs of the awards and the venue from the ticket sales of the event. In the last 2 awards shows we've charged $65 dollars per ticket and from that we also paid the photographers and videographers, the sound and light crew, all venue costs and additional staffing. In addition, we need enough left over to cover the costs of trophies, staff travel and accommodations and so on.
Date: We're targeting April, May or June of 2009 for the awards show.
Here's what we'd love:
We'd love a venue which is famous or has a music history in it. (Lots of those in LA, NYC and Nashville). We'd also love a venue with a great stage and interior set up. Great food would be wonderful. Location is important since we often have a lot of international attendees and everyone wants it to be in a cool location. We need affordable or free parking/transportation options for attendees. Nearby Hotels (or a connected one in the case of Las Vegas)
If you have suggestions of a cool place (like EMP in Seattle, or The Grand Ole Opry in Nashville or something similarly high profile in any of those cities), and have connections to them in some way, we'd really appreciate your help. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and place "Awards Venue" in the subject. Inside, tell me what you have in mind and please supply contact info, website for the venue and anything else that is available that might be of use. JPF depends on our own members to make things happen and this is no exception. Thanks in advance for any support you can offer!
I can't speak with authority on this subject but the City of Glen Rose, Texas located in scenic Somervell County (about an hour's drive SW of Fort Worth) has excellent facilities and accomodations. Just do a "Google" on City of Glen Rose and they will be able to help you make connections. Lot's of Hotels and great restaurants (The Ranch House... right across the street from the Expo Center) here in town and several others just up the road in Granbury. Possibly the Cactus Grille a few miles south in Meridian for epicurians.
My thinking is: 1. This little town in located in the far north reaches of the Texas Hill Country. (Very scenic) 2. The facilities and amenities are first class. (Many new hotels) 3. Lots of attractions and shopping. 4. A quaint city square of historic proportions... with a refreshing " Western Mayberry" atmosphere. 5. This venue would be in the middle of the country and would hopefully make access easier for everyone... whether driving or flying (D/FW) 6. For those traveling first class... the world famous, 12,000 acre Rough Creek Lodge is located a few miles west of town... with amenities "to die for." We also have excellent golf facilities at the Squaw Valley Courses right here in Glen Rose and dozens of others within 30 minutes in just about any direction.
Let me know if you need assistance in contacting city hall or the expo center here in Glen Rose.
I am of course biased because I live near Glen Rose (in Burleson Texas) but what about the facility? Does it have a building that will accommodate 600 people? If you want a Texas city with a history of songwriting, how about Austin or even Kerrville which is already the site of the Kerrville Folk Festival which will meet again this year on August 29th-31.
I believe the Glen Rose Expo facility could easily accommodate 600 or more folks but a call to the expo center will provide us with an answer. I'll try to get that accomplished today or asap and report my findings.
Austin or Kerrville would also provide great venues... if you factor out the horrible traffic problems in Austin at this time. I have no "axe to grind" in either direction... just interested in promoting my new "home town."
Well, I could suggest the Convention Center on Jekyll Island Ga. I think you can look it up on the Web. Not sure about all the requirments. It is on the Beach fairly modern and there are plenty of Motels on and off the Island. There is a $3.00 daily access fee to the island or you can purchase a 7 day pass I think. Won't be too cool in the dates you listed but it is always a bit cooler at the Beach. Congestion is fairly low in the Area but it as up to date as most places. You are about 6 hours from Orlando if anyone was wanting to go to Disney World while here. Occasionaly the State uses the facility. My grandaughter has had dance recitials there.
We're probably not going to do it in Texas unless it was perhaps in Austin (due to the music industry significance) or maybe Houston which has a large JPF population. We can find a great venue right here in Indianapolis, so it's more than just finding a room that would work. We need a destination location that people from literally around the world will want to spend the money and time to come to for the awards show. We had members come from over 25 different countries to the last awards show. We've gotten music from almost every single country in the world and we had nominees last time from over 80 different countries. The same goes for US nominees. Travel is expensive, so if they can take a week before or after and get some vacation in with the trip it's a bonus. In addition, we need a strong local member base to also fill the place up. LA is where we always have the most nominees, followed usually by the Boston area and the NYC/Philly region. Texas actually hasn't faired as well previously. Nashville is another good location due to all the music industry stuff and the fact that people could travel from a lot of different nearby cities by car to get there. Indianapolis may be the best positioned city of all with Nashville, Chicago, St. Louis, Louisville, Lexington, Cincinnati, Dayton, Columbus, Cleveland and Detroit all very close by. I fear that NYC would be too expensive across the board for people to attend so we'd have to depend almost exclusively on locals. Boston is also pretty costly.
How about Las Vegas? The airfare, rooms and meals are extremely reasonable. They want people here to gamble, so often the airfares are under $200 from most places. Plus, you can find rooms for $50 - $80 in a three-star hotel and you could get a great group rate to bring the cost down.
Plus, if it's during a time when there are not many conventions here, (mostly in the summer like June, July, August) the deals for meeting space or buy-outs of in-house nightclubs are also reasonable. Depending upon the amount of people you might expect, I could assist you to secure a place with a stage and PA system such as a larger restaurant or bar. But, the convention rooms are always great to set up a stage and dinner package.
There are some hotels like the Sahara Hotel, Imperial Palace, Palace Station and possibly the Southpoint who offer extremely low rates due to their trying to compete with the high-end hotels such as The Bellagio. They may be able to offer a convention space plus a great group room rate. My friend just got his hotel room for three days at the Sahara for $90. That's VERY CHEAP! The meals are very reasonable, especially if you do the buffets. Let me know.
JPFers can also enjoy a group rate for large production shows such as one of the many Cirque shows we have here. I'd be happy to assist if needed.
"And, in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make." Paul McCartney
All the details are above Heidi (i.e. what we need, numbers etc..). I do worry a bit about union issues as they often nickle and dime you to death on small things.. (like.. "oh.. you need a cord?" "that will be 2 people and 1/2 hour of time to get it for you..." etc. I've heard horror stories from some cities. LA has usually been ultra laid back on that stuff.
I hadn't considered Lost Wages as a JPF destination but I will say that it is consistently one of the cheapest places to fly. I go there every April for the National Association of Broadcasters convention. When I go with my wife we always stay about 15 miles out of town in the Red Rock Canyon at a place called "Bonnie Springs Ranch" where the rooms are about $65 a night and the scenery is beautiful. I think my last flight (from DFW) was about $240 round trip.
"Imagination is more important than knowledge." - Albert Einstein
Brian, I could certainly find a place outside of the hotel to hold the event if you don't want to hold it at the hotel where everyone will be staying. But, then you have to consider transportation issues.
If the convention room will allow you to bring in your own PA, we could get a great rental with an engineer to come in rather than use the hotel's PA and tech person.
Also, if you bring in 600 people who buy rooms plus pay for meals in the convention room, you can make a deal for the PA and techs. I could help you with this should you decide upon a location here. I could go to the hotel and discuss the particulars with the person in charge. I've worked a ton of gigs here and know a bit about how it all works. If you'd like, I could do some calling for you to feel out some of the hotels.
"And, in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make." Paul McCartney
We haven't visited Branson yet, but I would consider it actually. It obviously has a large number of venues that could work.
I would be for Las Vegas but I am concerned with the budget issues. We did it all very cheaply in So. Cal. We did so because of friendly connections directly with the venue owners each time. (We did Lounge at the Beach, Space 816, The Highlands and The Galaxy twice. The first three are all way too small now and the Galaxy which was perfect, has been sold and closed. I don't want to have to charge $100 dollars a ticket because people were freaking out about $65 dollars and we gave away about 100 of the 600 seats last year to nominees who said they couldn't afford a ticket. (Since we don't charge to enter, we have to charge enough to make some money to cover our costs in the cost of the ticket plus cover the venue itself and possibly food if that is included).
But Vegas does have appeal to international folks, if we can get a high profile or well known venue. I think it would be fun to have a weekend in Vegas for the awards.
We're getting back very large numbers from some folks that would require more than $100 bucks just to break even per ticket. That's probably more than the event can bear. (Why people spend $400-2000 or even more on Grammy tickets is beyond me.. ).
If the COST is $100 per ticket, we'd have to charge at least 130 per ticket just to pay for the trophies and photographers. (We'll spend over 10K on trophies this time around.. and we get a GREAT deal on them.. but we'll have over 200 to hand out).
Brian, next week I'll run over to the Nashville Palace. Big place (I'd guess over 600 capacity), lots of parking, food, history (though it's the new location), sound, lights, booze, right near the Opryland Hotel. I don't know what they'll want, but we'll find out.
You've got to know your limitations. I don't know what your limitations are. I found out what mine were when I was twelve. I found out that there weren't too many limitations, if I did it my way. -Johnny Cash
Thanks Mike.. I think we should also be checking the Wild Horse (we did an event there many years ago and it was a great venue.. we were a tiny spec inside it was so large) and several have suggested the Ryman, though that seems like Theater/Concert seating to me right?
We just don't get a great turn out when we visit Atlanta (which we've done 4 previous years on Roadtrips). There's any number of cities we could find great venues in, but I think with the economy tanking and a very unpredictable election and outcome and impact on the economy even further, we need the safest bet we can find venue wise. Since most people have to fly in to the location, we'll need a city with lots of air travel options. (I know Atlanta has those) as well as some relevance to the music industry or something else that will interest folks enough to spend the money to come. If we could just do it anywhere, I'd do it here in Indianapolis. We have a perfect venue here we could use and it would be far cheaper than most of the larger cities, but I fear people may not come here.
I am not sure when folks from Europe or Asia or South America or Australia or Africa think about a trip of a lifetime to the US they think of coming to Indianapolis.. unless maybe they are avid race fans. = ) I love Indianapolis, but it's a sports town and not a music town at all. It's not due to lack talent, as I've learned that outside of a couple of cities where musicians congregate it gigantic numbers, the musical talent is pretty consistent anywhere you go. Indy has had it's share of award winners, but So. Cal. has about 1/3 of our nominees every year and that makes it the best place to get a good turn out.
We have some folks looking into LA Live right now. 2 different contacts suggested it from 2 different angles and so I am hoping that one of them will get somewhere.
One thing that Indy has going for it is that a LOT of people could just drive to the awards on their own (and even return home that night if they wanted to). But it makes me really nervous to risk our biggest night to having a bad turn out. And once you're locked in to a place, you can't really change.
as well as some relevance to the music industry or something else that will interest folks enough to spend the money to come.
Of course Hartsfield/Jackson Airport is the worlds busiest airport so air connections are there.
Atlanta and Georgia in general has a very strong relevance to the music industry. Atlanta is HUGE in the hip hop recording and producing scene. Just a few miles away in Athens you have REM and a number of top groups. 2 of the really huge Contemporary Christian groups, Third Day and Casting Crowns are from Atlanta. This list could well go on and on... So relevance to the music industry is huge!
Atlanta is now home to the largest indoor aquarium in the world...so that and many other things would be a great tourist attractions. They hosted the Olympics and many huge conventions so accommodations are plenty.
Not sure why you did not get good turn outs for your events. Georgia has two active NSAi chapters one in Atl and one in Columbus, and others I am sure.
Anyway... I think ATL has it all over Indy in every way.
I'll cast my "Vote" for Vegas. Cheap Airfare-to...more Centrally-Located than L.A...& it's evolved into Quite An Interesting Place. (& heck, with a wee bitta luck, might even win BACK the Airfare & Hotel Fees, too!) ;-)>
I've enjoyed L.A. twice now...my guess is that Heidi would set up Vegas to be a very-enjoyable Experience..both Musically and Budgetary-wise. (Tho, yeah, I know NADA about the Unions out there.)(& I give myself a $20 Gamblin' Limit, which lasts about 30 minutes tops~!)
But Vegas sounds like a FUN Venue AND inexpensive Airfare...& with Pillows & Water gettin' sold on flights these days, it'd be nice to know we'll have Bargain Hotels & Meals a-waiting us when we land there.
Thanks Mz Heidi for The Assist...Tho I leave The Choice in Brian's Very-Capable Hands!
Big Hugs to All, Stan
#645011 - 08/23/0802:59 PMRe: 2009 Just Plain Folks Music Awards Needs A Venue!
Hi Brian, I just spoke to the contact at the Imperial Palace and they are hot to "sweeten the deal" to get the contract. We could certainly shave off some costs now that they are in "deal mode."
I also now have the direct contact to the Head of Catering at the Mirage who said she'd do something for you in your budget. I'm sure we could find a hotel here to suit your needs and costs if we work on it.
Plus, I now also have the direct contact to the Wildhorse in Nashville via an agent here who knows him like a son. She said she'd hook me up any time.
Let me know what you'd like to do.
"And, in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make." Paul McCartney
I really appreciate the options you've come up with. Right now I am waiting to hear back on a possibility of getting a huge top name venue in LA 100% free... that would obviously trump all else, but I haven't heard back yet. So I don't want to forward anything until I know the status of that deal. Whatever their offer is then I can intelligently weight it against other deals that come. It may not end up being free, but I'm told it's 60-40 in our favor... that would mean we'd just pay for whatever food was actually needed and our costs would be WAY lower than previous years especially if they allowed our members to order and pay for their own food with no guarentee needed.
Let's see what happens. You may still have the best option.