I think we've settled on August 29th, 2009 as the date of our music awards. (We have a fall back date of August 15th in case we need it). We're looking at 3 locations currently though there's pending quotes out on several more venues in each city.
Right now we've spoken with:
Nashville: The Wildhorse Saloon and the Grand Ole Opry. The GOO is a bit of a problem in that we couldn't seat everyone for dinner inside any of their venues. Since the event is really long (5-6 hours)we really need dinner included to break up the long hours and so folks aren't hungry. That would mean doing it on their Plaza, which they've offered up with tents etc. in case of rain. The other option is the Wildhorse Saloon which is probably the right size and very similar in many ways to our LA venue the Galaxy which we THOUGHT had closed, but actually was remodeled and reopened this week by the same people. (more on that later).
The Wildhorse hosted an event for us in around 2003 (I actually can't remember the exact year, it's been a little while back) during NAMM and it was a great venue. I think if we end up doing it in Nashville, that's probably our first choice right now if we can negotiate a little better deal. The advantage to doing it in Nashville is that more folks could likely drive in from 5-6 hours around Nashville. Atlanta, Indianapolis, Louisville, Cincinatti, etc.
Southern California: I don't say Los Angeles because our last 2 awards show took place at the Galaxy Theater which is in Orange County next to Disneyland after doing the previous 3 in Hollywood. We tried for the Kodak Theater (home of the Oscars) but it's shut down all year for renovations already and not booking any events. (Yeah, weird eh?). We're waiting on several quotes for Hollywood venues but we've already spoken with the Galaxy which just reopened last weekend and they are interested in hosting us again. We had some issues with Sound last time (the first time the sound was perfect all night, the second time it was a really bad sound guy for the most part that caused the trouble). We've agreed to add an extra sound person to deal with that issue. That said, for those who haven't been to a show there, there's a link:
They told me they removed those "sky" boxes and that is now an open floor with booths. The capacity has actually shrunk a little to around 550. (We've had 600+ the last 2 awards shows). We're considering contacting Downtown Disney to see if we could do a Pre-Awards show there, or we might do the same thing we did the last time and have a pre-awards party at the Newport Beach home of Kerry Getz. (That was actually a lot of fun).
The benefit to using Southern California is that we have our largest chapter there (Orange County) and also our largest overall member base within 2 hours driving time of the 3 cities we're considering.
Las Vegas: We thought there might be some good deals in Las Vegas, though the downside is nearly 100% of the attendees would need to fly in since we have very few local members. The good news is that the Hard Rock in Las Vegas is actually interested and they are just re-opening their famous venue "The Joint" in April. The downside is that they aren't sure they want to host a private event on a Saturday, even though we'd sell it out. (Not really sure about the logic there since we'd likely be bringing in a huge number of hotel rooms as well that wouldn't otherwise already be there as opposed to any other show). Nevertheless, we're still in negotiations. I've seen the photos of the new venue and it's fairly overwhelming on many levels. We'll have to wait and see if the price quote is overwhelming as well.
So that's the update. I will let folks know as we get other solid offers and will update this.
Nashville sounds kind of cool. Smaller, but a higher concentration of music types. LA scares me, too big, and Vegas scares me even more..... empty pockets !
Nashville sounds intriging, we could...... hmmm...
Play "chase down and hog-tie a publisher".... double points if you get your pre-loaded ipod on his ears.
Fling the CD at the spittoon.... double points if you can get it out with your tounge.
Play gherm the germ. Set the dumbest JPF member up with the biggest so called record exec in town, only to later find out it's really "Marty, the door to door shoe lace salesman". Double points if he doesn't notice the difference.
All chip in and buy Mike Dunbar a new pair of shoes..... the possibilities are endless.
I like all three... I miss L.A., but change would be good. The downside of doing it elsewhere for me is that there's a lot of CA folks I'm used to seeing at the awards that might not make it elsewhere. Jody, I'm talking to you, bro.
Nashville is kind of a no-brainer for a show like ours, and to be truthful I've never actually been there so that would be pretty cool. And I've always wanted to get to Vegas...
I really don't know. But I think my fingers might be crossed for Nashville.
Well, Vegas is no picnic, but I have been there, and could drive if that's where it was held. I've been to Nashville, too--twice, for Pineyfest.
I've been to L.A. a few times, too, but it was not my most pleasant travel experience by any means. L.A. is one of two places I've been where I came close to getting killed in a car (the other was San Diego).
Brian, do what you have to, and I will do my best to come if I can. lots of luck.