Isle Jam events lost money

Published 12:18 pm Wednesday, August 24, 2016

A good idea but ticket sales didn’t materialize

By Diana McFarland

Managing editor

Isle of Wight County’s initial attempt at hosting a concert series ended in a loss of $135,446.

The county budgeted $192,000 for the Isle Jam series and had anticipated revenues of $247,000, but that didn’t happen, mostly due to a lack of ticket sales, said Isle of Wight County Assistant Administrator Don Robertson.

The Scotty McCreery concert generated $17,840 in ticket sales, while the Easton Corbin concert brought in $21,919 for a total of about $40,000, according to figures provided by Isle of Wight County. {mprestriction ids=”1,2,3,4,5,6″}

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

The concert series was an attempt to get more use out of Heritage Park, which is located outside of Windsor.

Staff is now evaluating how the series could be improved, and while using a professional promoter hasn’t been discussed, that may be the direction to go in the future, Robertson said, adding that perhaps a change in music genre might improve ticket sales too.

“It was a good idea … the execution went well, but it didn’t translate into ticket sales,” Robertson said, adding that feedback provided by concertgoers was overwhelmingly positive.

Another snag may be that while the public was familiar with the performers, it did not know where Heritage Park was located, he said.

Isle of Wight Board of Supervisors Chairman Rex Alphin commended the staff for trying to better utilize the fairgrounds, but acknowledged that some ideas work and some not so well.

Plus, these concerts, like the Isle of Wight County Fair, are also weather-dependent.

The Board is going to take a good look at the concert series and decide what to do going forward, he said.  {/mprestriction}