Pat on the ‘BAC’
Carson City is a bit quieter on Saturdays after the Levitt AMP Concert Series ended the season Aug. 26.
“I’ve had so many people ask me ‘What are we going do on Saturday night?’” said Gina Hill, executive director for the Brewery Arts Center.
The opening show saw the highest attendance when The Original Wailers played in front of 2,900 people. The series averaged 1,860 people in attendance for each concert.
MAKING IT POSSIBLE
For 10 weeks, the BAC hosted the festivities that brought in 17 musical artists to entertain the community. A tremendous amount of work goes into creating the concert series, which brings in national touring acts as well as local artists. It all starts with the $25,000 grant from the Levitt AMP Foundation. Then money is raised through corporate sponsors (The Change Companies as presenting sponsor and KNBP as the Media sponsor), the Carson Tahoe Regional Medial Center and a grant from the state. The rest of the money comes from concession stands, Hill said.
“It costs a good $100,000 to put together the series,” she said.
That money goes toward the bands, tech (sound), security, permits and licensing through the city, renting port-a-potties, the bounce house and activities related to the event such as paint for the children to use.
Volunteers also make the concerts possible. They sell merchandise, check IDs and sell beverages, help with setup and teardown and also take care of the dressing rooms.
“Our volunteer ‘army’ is amazing,” Hill said.
She said she had about 30 people every week and most had been doing it since the first year.
“They’re dependable, they’re pros — we rely on them,” she said. “I don’t have to give any direction after the first couple of concerts.”
A couple of women even made dinner for the bands every week.
“As a touring band, a home-cooked meal is really valuable to them,” Hill said. “They were really appreciative of that.”
GRANT NOT AUTOMATIC
Carson City won the grant three years in a row that helped put the concert series in motion, but getting that grant again isn’t a given.
“It’s not automatic at all — in any way shape or form,” Hill said.
She hopes the community wins the same grant next year, but there will be more competition among cities for it, she said. Then everyone will have to vote again to ensure Carson makes it as a finalist. But Hill thinks because of the exponential growth over three years, it is possible the grant could go somewhere else.
“There’s so many great deserving communities,” she said. “I feel like we could still do it in some capacity (without the grant), and the community would support it. But if it didn’t happen next year, there certainly would be a void in Carson City.”
WHAT’S NEXT FOR BAC?
The Southern Drawl Band returns to Carson City on Oct. 13. The rockin’ country band is a favorite in Carson City.
The popular Escape Room will get a spooky makeover in time for Halloween. It’s a puzzle in which a group of people works together to unlock clues to get out of a locked room.
The Celtic Music Series begins its fifth year in October and is held the third Saturday of every month. Being in the fifth year has given the tools the BAC needs and allowed them to move to the bigger concert series they do now, Hill said.
“They sell out,” she said. “The community has really embraced it.”
Hill is proud of and grateful for having the opportunity to host these events with the BAC.
“Because we are becoming more diverse every day, it’s important that we have events where people feel like they could come together in a safe place and meet each other and live together,” she said. “It’s about sharing an experience — a very positive experience — and I think that’s the most important part about what we do.