Elkhart Jazz Festival saw boost in ticket sales
Posted: 06/28/2013 at 4:00 pm
By: Angelle Barbazon
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Wynton Marsalis performs with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra on stage at the Lerner Theatre during the Jazz Festival Saturday, June 22, 2013. (Truth Photo By J. Tyler Klassen)
Reagan Stephenson, 14, sits in a carriage dressed as Cinderella with six girls dressed as horses pulling her before the Premier Arts parade during Elkhart's Jazz Festival Friday, June 21, 2013. (Truth Photo by Julia Moss)
Michael Carvale of Davina and the Vagabonds plays at INOVA CEO Dallas Bergl's home sponsor concert to kick off the Elkhart Jazz Festival Thursday, June 20, 2013. Boaters were invited to drop anchor and listen as well. (Truth Photo by Julia Moss)
David Smith, co-chairman for the festival, expects revenues from tickets to top last year’s total by 40 percent, though volunteers are still tallying final sales. Tickets went on sale 70 days earlier this year, he pointed out, adding that the festival’s reputation also contributed to the event’s prosperity.
“The success of the festival over the past few years is a huge factor in how people felt about the festival this year,” Smith said. “The approach to headliners this year no doubt increased excitement towards the festival and the increase in ticket sales.”
Trumpet player Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra played to a sold-out crowd Saturday, June 22, at the Lerner Theatre, and co-headliner John Pizzarelli, a swing guitarist and singer, had three packed performances during the festival.
Smith called the boost in ticket sales “encouraging.”
“You look at jazz festivals, and their future is really driven by ticket sales,” he said. “We’re so thankful for our sponsors and so thankful for the city of Elkhart and their contributions, but with that said, growing ticket sales is really the key component to growing the festival.”
Smith and co-chairman Kurt Janowski have already committed to being the head organizers of the 2014 Elkhart Jazz Festival. The festival will add talent committee member Ben Decker as a third co-chairman for the event.
The jazz festival had a few new features this year, including a New Orleans-style Mardi Gras parade and an exclusive concert for sponsors that allowed the public to watch on boats from the St. Joseph River. The festival also introduced its first smartphone app that allowed festivalgoers to plan their stage-hopping adventures. The app was downloaded 2,100 times.
“The Elkhart Jazz Festival is similar to the style of music it embraces,” Smith said. “It is an evolving, ever-changing form of music presented for the engagement of the listener. While rooted in traditions, it branches out through a combination of strategic risk and improvisation. That’s jazz, and that’s what the festival was this year.”