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Re: “In four years, concerts at the North Carolina State Fair have lost almost $900,000. Who's responsible?

Lorraine, that's a reasonable question, and I do hope the piece presented another way of looking at it. To summarize, the fair itself is very profitable, but this particular aspect loses a large amount of money due to a rather inexplicable hire. For that concert, you spent $15 each ticket, I believe. The concert still lost a decent amount of money, but your $15 helped offset Joan Jett's cost. Otherwise, you contributed $12.20 to the state if you bought your ticket in advance ($14.20 at the gate)—$7 at the door, $5.20 paid to the DoA by the carnival presenter on your behalf. That money subsidizes these losses and then helps build the fair's overall profit. The problem, though, is that these shows were designed to lose much less, and many people agree that they could lose much less now, with some adjustments to structure of contracts and management. And as for the money you spent on rides or concessions, no, none of that goes to offset the entertainment costs. Vendors pay a square-footage fee for their total imprint, and it is not beholden to sales, at least according to records I acquired and my interviews with state officials. Thanks for asking the question, and I hope that is helpful.

6 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Grayson Currin, INDY Music Editor on 12/03/2014 at 8:40 PM

Re: “In four years, concerts at the North Carolina State Fair have lost almost $900,000. Who's responsible?

As a music coordinator, I am happy to see someone else taking notice of the entertainment scheduled at the state fair. I saw the lineup this year and just shook my head.

The NC State Fair already focuses on NC Products and NC Agriculture. It should also focus on and support Triangle (local ) and NC Regional Bands. Two well booked National Acts to open and to close the fair would be enough.

NC has exceptional world class musicians and bands. Supporting and featuring them at the State Fair would provide cultural exposure, and display NC Pride in our Arts. It would also offer a huge savings to the Dept. Of Agriculture.

Michelle King
Triangle Entertainment Agency
Raleigh ,NC

10 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Michelle King on 12/03/2014 at 8:20 PM

Re: “In four years, concerts at the North Carolina State Fair have lost almost $900,000. Who's responsible?

On the last night of the fair, we saw Joan Jett and the Blackhearts -- not exactly has-beens. It was not a sellout but it was a big house and a very good concert. I wondered why the tickets were only $15. But on the other hand, we had to pay to get into the fair, and ended up dropping probably another $100 on rides, etc., something we would not have done otherwise, if not for the draw of the concert. So is there maybe another way of looking at this?

11 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by Lorraine Ahearn on 12/03/2014 at 5:53 PM

Re: “In four years, concerts at the North Carolina State Fair have lost almost $900,000. Who's responsible?

It seems to me that the only reason that ticket sales were started at all was to combat traffic at the fair. If some other way were used and the concerts were still free, and, obviously, losing even more money, would this article still have been written? You didn't seem to have expressed any financial concerns about the free concerts.

There are two ways to read the chart: the booker is unconcerned about revenue because she doesn't know what she's doing, or she's unconcerned about revenue because revenue isn't a concern. It's hard to believe that she's so bad at simple multiplication, and there doesn't seem to be concern elsewhere for the concerts' profits, so I'm inclined to say that lack of concern is the reason.

Of course, the beginning part of the article is intended to show that revenue is a concern in general, but I'm not sure that it does. It shows that attendance is a concern. Later it describes how the fair pays for itself. Maybe it's just a matter of pride.

All that said, it would be nice if the bookings had a greater variety. There seem to be only three categories: country acts, Christian acts, and has-beens.

12 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Bitt Faulk on 12/03/2014 at 12:21 PM

Re: “In four years, concerts at the North Carolina State Fair have lost almost $900,000. Who's responsible?

I've long been frustrated at the lack of interesting concert picks at the State Fair, and wondered about their financial success (or failure). It's interesting to gain an understanding of the process that results in these line-ups. The money side of the equation is concerning, but a bigger issue may be the fact that these shows have such tepid appeal, and little focus on N.C.'s home grown talent.

With better management, there seems to be an opportunity here for 3-way win. Stronger line-up choices could lead to bigger, happier audiences, more money for the Ag Dept, and serve as a really great showcase for N.C. talent. The Department's leadership should be strongly considering the changes that could bring this about. Contracting with an outside talent buyer would seem to be an idea whose time has come.

5 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Fuzzsonic on 12/03/2014 at 12:20 PM

Re: “In four years, concerts at the North Carolina State Fair have lost almost $900,000. Who's responsible?

The writer is right in highlighting fair concerts as "loss leaders." Everyone knows that the NC State Fair is a successful, profitable and attractive operation, the largest state-supported and hosted "show" by far every year (this does not include the annual comedy act known as the NC General Assembly session, of course).

I am a taxpayer and, as such, my money supports the NC Ag Dept, and most likely positions and ops there that help organize/run the Fair. Knowing how things are going financially at the Fair is my right---the broader public would NEVER hear about this situation from the state government itself. And I'm pleased to learn how they might be improved. That the Fair hasn't moved over to percentage/versus deals is puzzling.

4 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Mick Voiland on 12/03/2014 at 12:17 PM

Re: “Aviator Brewing in Fuquay-Varina embroiled in lawsuit against California brewery

Leave it to a West Coast/California-based brewer to try to legally muscle a much smaller East Coast/Carolina-based craft brewing enterprise. It's not a snit over the two brewers' actually name or logo, but on something as non-earthshaking as the label on a single product among a multi-product line-up.

Stand your ground, Aviator and Mark Doble!

7 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Mick Voiland on 12/03/2014 at 11:52 AM

Re: “The Republican approach is if you don't talk about it in school, it's not a problem

Lex Alexander: I am a middle-aged, white Unaffiliated (and very progressive) male, and I agree with your every word. And we are both know what we are talking about.

Jeff S: If you truly believe that "You only have to teach history," then you would have to support the teaching of the straight facts about white-imposed slavery, oppression, genocide, and racism with regard to both African and Native Americans. But the GOP-led SBE wants these things "nuanced" (i.e., covered less) and white America's historic "exceptionalism" highlighted (i.e., covered more).

opuss20: Your post is sadly one of stereotypical thinking. Grouping liberals and the media by entirety, rather than focusing on the article's point. It makes me sick how posters deliberately and closed-mindedly group people/writers by political persuasion and profession, rather than responding directly to their points.

7 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Mick Voiland on 12/03/2014 at 11:36 AM

Re: “State, UNC researchers use maps to show where well water could pose risk to newborns

Ironically, the map of the slate deposits, matches exactly the area of the state with the highest number of CONCENTRATED TOXIC SEWAGE SLUDGE NCDENR/DWQ PERMITS... Sewage sludge contains all the toxic heavy metals listed in this article, including manganese .... manganese in slate is not a readily available and not a highly soluble [dissolvable in water] heavy metal ... it is doubtful that --- that is the source of the well water contamination..
I can't post the map in the post [I tried].... go to to see the map

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by mmdotson on 12/03/2014 at 11:35 AM

Re: “In four years, concerts at the North Carolina State Fair have lost almost $900,000. Who's responsible?

Here's an idea Baby Boomers concerts. My wife and I saw the Association with limited seating maybe 250 seats, tix were 25.00 with fees. We were in the second row center. Put on festival nights with several boomer groups. Cheap tix, fair makes a profit and everyone has a great night !

6 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by csmith8354 on 12/03/2014 at 10:37 AM

Re: “The Republican approach is if you don't talk about it in school, it's not a problem

Racism is this country's original sin -- we enslaved one race and nearly wiped out another, and we have continued to enact government and corporate policies that have a foundation in racism right up to the present day, when research shows discrimination, some of it unconscious, in recruitment/hiring, marketing, and many other aspects of society. To argue that American history shouldn't include race is even stupider than arguing that it shouldn't include the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution.

But, hey, I'm just a middle-aged, white Republican male. I couldn't possibly know what I'm talking about.

9 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Lex Alexander on 12/03/2014 at 10:30 AM

Re: “The Republican approach is if you don't talk about it in school, it's not a problem

You shouldn't have to teach a history of racism. You only have to teach history.

We have been failing at this for decades and will continue to do so. You could have lambasted or lampooned the conservative attempts to whitewash history without mentioning race. It would have made for a better article.

I suppose it's hard to do that without pointing out that Christian groups are behind almost all of these discussions. Then we inevitably try to pretend that it's only the "crazy christians" and that most christians are good people who would never do such a thing.... a narrative that nobody actually believes. But as I've demonstrated, once you start criticizing religion you're going to be dismissed. It's easier to pretend it's not happening.

There is a god. Cops don't break the law. White people don't move to the suburbs to avoid "those people". Blacks aren't racist at all.

2 likes, 8 dislikes
Posted by Jeff S on 12/03/2014 at 10:19 AM

Re: “In four years, concerts at the North Carolina State Fair have lost almost $900,000. Who's responsible?

This article has a very unfair tone to it. State fairs and casinos are known to be cash cows for agents and artist management because the goal is foot traffic and promotion rather than box office glory. Singling out this line item from what continues to be a profitable attraction just seems ill-spirited. I mean, the bathrooms haven't turned a profit in years, but they are still a vital part of the event's success?
Kaine Riggan -

28 likes, 20 dislikes
Posted by Writer Kaine on 12/03/2014 at 9:58 AM

Re: “The Republican approach is if you don't talk about it in school, it's not a problem

This article is sadly one of liberal media. Grouping races by entirety, rather than focusing on the individual. It makes me sick how writers group people by race, rather than reaction.

2 likes, 14 dislikes
Posted by opuss20 on 12/03/2014 at 8:33 AM

Re: “Goodbye to the Sunset Man

Beautiful commemoration of Josh. My daughter, Megan was Bipolar with Schitzoid tendencies. She was beautiful, extremely smart, and very talented in so many areas. She was valedictorian of her High School class and Outstanding Student in Psychology from OSU. It took her a while to finish college due to her illness, but she did it! Unfortunately, the medications quit working and we tried ECT, with only short term improvement, but she started her own business tutoring and was doing well. I could see her slowly declining, until one day I received a call from the police that she had threatened to kill herself. She had been married only three weeks. I found she had hung herself in our barn. I miss her so much, but I know the torment and pain is gone. I wish you love.

Posted by Wanda Criblez on 12/02/2014 at 3:09 PM

Re: “Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion

Gr8 sound - Gr8 people - Gr8 destination

Posted by Ray San on 12/01/2014 at 11:44 PM

Re: “Celebrating pisco, the national drink of Peru

It is good that you reference Perú as the country of origin. The Chileans have tried repeatedly to DOCG Pisco. Look at a map, Chile, where is Pisco?

Posted by Sogno on 12/01/2014 at 4:16 PM

Re: “Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion

Awesome atmosphere. Great place to hear music. Recommended highly.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Chris Censullo on 12/01/2014 at 2:48 PM

Re: “Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion

54 West is a fantastic music venue. There is something for everyone. You can sit , watch and listen to some of the most phenomenal local and touring bands. If having music in the background is more your speed, the back has pool tables and games. There is also a lounge to sit and get away while still listening. My favorite part however is the backyard. There are lights draped between trees. A hammock to cuddle close to your loved one while looking at the stars, horseshoes, a fire barrel and a cute country back stage for special performances looking over a dance floor! The best part, however, has to be the staff. They will go above and beyond to make your night special. I guarantee if you walk in a stranger, by the end of the night you will walk out a friend. The owner Bill West has gone to great lengths to give the community something it never has before. He has put blood, sweat and tears into 54 West. The least you can do is go for a ride and check it out! What do you have to loose? NOTHING!!! 54 West the CHEERS of Alamance County!!

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by nasaj429 on 12/01/2014 at 2:10 PM

Re: “Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion

Excellent place to enjoy an evening of music. Great sound and cold beer! Bill West and the staff do an excellent job!

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Gary Holmes on 12/01/2014 at 1:42 PM

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