TELLURIDE – With unanimous approval from the Telluride Town Council on Tuesday, facilitated by a willingness by the Telluride Theatre to shift its Shakespeare in the Park schedule, the stage is set in Town Park for a major two-day concert to be hosted by KOTO Radio, Aug. 25 and Aug. 26 –the weekend after the USA Pro Cycle Challenge comes to Telluride and before the Telluride Film Festival will be held.
With excitement in the air surrounding another major Telluride concert, the remaining question now is who’s going to headline the event.
On Tuesday, council granted KOTO an exemption from the town’s “advance notice of impacts” municipal rule along with an approval of the use of Town Park for Aug. 25-26. According to a memorandum prepared by town staff, the concert event will potentially include several bands and one or two headliner performances, who are yet to be determined. According to KOTO Special Events Coordinator Janice Zink, getting the dates at Town Park is the first step needed in securing contracts with performers who may be available during that time.
Both Zink and KOTO President Todd Creel gave no hints at Tuesday’s council meeting on any headliners they have in mind. Most of the discussion, however, surrounded the number of tickets that will be made available to San Miguel County residents ahead of the general ticket sale.
The event is being classified as a “major” event that will have a daily maximum capacity of 9,000 people per day. The concerts will use most of Town Park, including the Town Park campground. Both council and KOTO representatives agreed to a condition that 2,000 tickets would be made available to San Miguel County residents at least four weeks prior to the release date of mass ticket sales.
The Town Park stage had originally been slated to house the Telluride Theatre’s annual Shakespeare in the Park event. Both Telluride Theatre Executive Director Colin Sullivan and Artistic Director Sasha Cucciniello attended the council meeting and said they were willing to work with KOTO to shift the Shakespeare in the Park schedule and its venue around the concert. Cucciniello suggested that if they can find the right outdoor venue, they would try to hold Shakespeare in the Park sometime during the week prior to the concert and then in the middle of the week after the concert. Both Sullivan and Cucciniello said they agreed to work with the town because a concert of this magnitude is an economic boon to Telluride, but both expressed concern about the challenge of finding a sustainable date and location for the event in years to come. KOTO and the Telluride Theatre are continuing talks to reach agreement on how the theatre company might be compensated for changing venues this summer.
As Cucciniello noted, another big weekend concert in Telluride could bring a positive economic impact. Marketing Telluride Inc. President and Chief Executive Officer Michael Martelon, in a memo to council, suggested that a two-day concert in August could bring more than $5 million to the area’s economy. Creel said if this year’s concert is deemed a success, KOTO would like to schedule an event for that weekend on an annual basis.
“In doing any kind of event like this, we are already thinking about next year and then the year after that,” Creel said. “The objective here is to make this sustainable. Anytime you do a big show like this, there is a lot of risks associated with it but we also want to do it with an eye to next year as well.”
At the same meeting but during a separate council item, council approved a request by KOTO to change the date of its Doo Dah concert event from July 13-15 to July 8. By moving the date, KOTO representatives believe they can accommodate a larger attraction in terms of a headliner.
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