CONCERT PERFORMERS Harlequin, along with Nick Gilder and Sweeney Todd and the Carleen Roth Band performed in Summerland on Saturday, June 1 at the Summerland Action Festival concert. Only 279 tickets were sold to this concert. (Photo submitted)

Summerland Action Festival concert lost money

Organizers needed around 1,000 ticket sales, but only sold 279

A paid concert, held on the Saturday of the Summerland Action Festival, lost money for the organization.

Pat Bell, chair of the Summerland Action Festival Society, said the Saturday concert featuring Harlequin, Nick Gilder and Sweeney Todd and the Carleen Roth Band was poorly attended.

Only 279 tickets were sold, but organizers needed close to 1,000 to break even.

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The concert was held at the Summerland Arena. Ticket prices ranged from $25 and $40 in the stands, $50 on the floor and $65 for VIP tickets including a meet and greet.

“We were hoping the bands were going to attract people, but unfortunately it didn’t happen,” he said.

He added that the cost of the concert was between $35,000 and $40,000.

The bands alone had a price tag of $20,000, and the related costs including production and lighting, added more than $15,000.

The concert was held as a replacement to the Action Festival Dance, which had been a Saturday evening mainstay for many years.

Bell said attendance at the dance had been dwindling over the years and the concert was seen as a way to draw more people.

He said concert details, including the ticket prices, were planned after consultation with the South Okanagan Events Centre in Penticton.

“They thought 1,200 people would be possible,” Bell said.

While the concert has been a financial hit for the Summerland Action Festival committee, Bell said the committee will be able to cope with the loss.

He added that in the coming weeks, the committee will meet to consider the most recent festival and begin planning for the 2020 event.

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