I have been to so many concerts in my life I couldn’t begin to count them, but Summer Jam 2011 was the first time I felt locked into a venue. I spent a day trapped in the White River Amphitheater and I was allowed to take with me one unopened 20 oz bottle of water.
In their defense the amphitheater did provide other consumables during my nine-hour stay, but I would have loved to return to my vehicle for a bottle of sunscreen. You see the rules of this venue on this day were “No in and out privileges”, once you are in you are in for the stay.
I fully understand the need for profits in a corporate environment. Corporations need to continue to grow to build investor confidence and maintain an edge on the competition. I agree with this principle, but they do have such a thing as “what the market will bare”. A consumer has the freedom to choose, unless a business has figured out a way trap you in place and charge you ten times what the normal market price is. My business side loves this idea, but it aggressively animates my consumer side.
Before I traveled to Auburn to see the Summer Jam, I investigated the venue. I was committed to going and I did walk into this situation with eyes wide open. The thing that the website does not tell you is how much you will pay to stay trapped inside. I don’t pretend to know how contracts for a venue are negotiated but I do know that when a business writes food prices on white tape and sticks them on their expensive menu boards, it is a good sign that the promoters are getting a piece.
I love Ludacris and I don’t mind lining his pockets with a little gold, but his fan base is not made up of boy scouts. To allow no other food than 20 ounces of bottled water and then inflate the prices is not kool. As the headliner his team should have stopped this practice and the venu should have worked out a better deal. No one was / is thinking about the fans.
These practices do hurt the bottom line in the end. Everywhere I looked employees were standing around bored, the kind of bored that wishes you were actually working. And at the end of night the place was trashed, people left their garbage where they ate it. Speaking to as many people as I could I found everyone angry over the prices. French fries were the deal of the night and for $5.50 you felt like you got some food at a fair price.
KUBE put on a great show and we all enjoyed ourselves but Dick’s was waiting for us when the show was over. Our sunburns will heal, thank God at least someone made some money, right?
Check out the slide show for more highlights on the day. Cheers and eat well.