There is a recent upswing, a strong interest in recreating the large scale concert experience which was once a dominant force in our music culture during the late 70’s and through the 80’s. We are not talking about just any show or event, but those that were unique and helped to change the world of Music and Entertainment. Not only did they change how society viewed live entertainment, but in many cases they changed our lives as music fans forever. You know what I’m talking about, those concert experiences that most of us had, the ones that were just that, AN EXPERIENCE.
We are living in an age where music can be delivered to us in many different ways, more than ever we can now acquire any type of music at any time with just a click. This almost seems surreal. Do we take music for granted because of this? It is almost as if this might get in the way of that major concert experience. Could this be the catalyst for this “Live Show” revival?
This reporter has lived through the 70’s as a kid and now the 21st Century as an adult, I have been given such an array of truly wonderful experiences in the world of Music and Entertainment. I got to see the birth of Color TV and the death of 8 tracks and 45’s, including the rise and fall and rise again of vinyl records. What about those little plastic cassettes and of course let’s not discount the slick Compact Discs (CD) that are still alive today, well kind of.
Don’t get me started on concert venues and major shows – you’ve got the Fillmore East in New York, and the concert venue in the round on a rotating stage in San Carlos California, yep, I’m talking about the Circle Star Theater, and like the Fillmore it helped to launch the careers of many major music stars in the entertainment world (see images above of both venues). What a great time to be alive and to allow music to come into our lives, and a perfect time to gather knowledge as well.
Where has all of this taken us? We now listen to music from devices that are as tiny as a nine volt battery with headphones that are barely detectable. Some of us don’t even use equipment anymore to “hold” our music, we have phones and other tiny devices that connect us to a “digital cloud” which stores our music like a virtual Fort Knox. These major storage tools have the availability to release a technical tornado at our whims with an unlimited rainstorm of data in the form of video, audio and in the very near future devices that will “always be on” and ever linked to our own bio-connectors, directly and indirectly. Imagine, thinking you want to listen to John Lennon’s Imagine or Bruce Springsteen’s Born in the USA, and viola, there it is streaming over your headset. We’re not very far away from that. And who knows what else is next for us.
Maybe our Millennial generation is starting to realize that sitting wherever you might be and listening to music can be boring, even a bit lonely at times. What about going out and seeing a show or two, listening to some live talent with some of your favorite music and a friend or three is not that bad after all. Now there’s an idea! So how does this play a role in bringing back those large-scale live music shows? That I can’t answer exactly, but I can report on what is happening in society today, and from my vantage point, it is pretty awesome.
First, there was the announcement by Carlos Santana at the beginning of the year to put his old crew back together, the original Santana Band. The article by the Event City Magazine and the social media connections garnered well over 100,000 “Likes”, and in the first 24 hours almost 10,000 reads! This was major music news, after all, it was SANTANA! Soon after, they announced their first concert date a outdoor show at AT&T Park in San Francisco on September 4th of this year.
Then there’s the historic Day On the Green concerts created by the legendary Bill Graham from the early 70’s through the early 90’s which was the catalyst for major Rock’n’Roll Music festivals and arena shows around the country and the world. These are making a resurgence, and of course, what else to call it but “DAY ON The GREEN 2016“! The show is presented by Got Live Entertainment and BAM Magazine and will take place on Saturday, September 10th, 2016 at the Pioneer Amphitheater in Hayward. It will feature a selection of some of the greatest tribute talent on the planet representing the likes of Journey, Santana, Foreigner and Fleetwood Mac. The promoter has some exciting plans to do more of the DOGs and possibly a tour in time. Event City is giving away tickets at our Day On the Green Contest! It’s simple, tell us your favorite Day On the Green story and you’ll be entered to win FREE Tickets to the show. Never got to attend a Day On the Green, that’s ok. Tell us about any crazy concert story and be eligible to win! Share the link with your friends at the EVENT CITY WORLDWIDE FACEBOOK GROUP.
Then we come to the beautiful California Gold Country. Last year the Butte Fire took everyone by surprise. It began in Amador County but quickly spread and decimated the Mountain Ranch area of Calaveras. Over 750 homes were destroyed and many more out buildings. An area filled with culturally creative groups and many who were raised in the area and build a life in most cases simple and mostly carefree. Many of those who lived out here were musicians, performers, artists and craftspeople making a living off of their creative endeavors. Could the tragedy of the Butte fire spawn an interest in expanding on live entertainment? Why not? Just ask Chuck Swisher of the National Hotel, “Our team wants to revitalize downtown Jackson and bring back the days when it was all about music, community and fun, but why stop there?” He adds, “Jackson has a lot to offer but so does the rest of the Gold Country, our owner wants to help the entire area grow and expand, and what better way to do that than with music.” One such project started all the back in the year of 1969.
There was this show, a little known concert that barely made it to the Rock’n’Roll history books, and it happened in the foot of the foothills in the beautiful golden state of California. The Lake Amador Gold Rush Music Festival happened on October 4th 1969 in Amador County. Those who attended the concert applauded the effort and outcome of this endeavor by a local promoter and many of them say this was one of the best live festival concerts they ever attended.
Some even boasted as this being one of the greatest in the history of live concert shows. I have personally spoken to several people that attended this show and they loved it more than one can imagine and walked away with some great memories. One of my personal friends was a young kid at the time and he said it was one of the greatest concerts of all time. He has worked and/or attended an estimated more than one thousand shows in his lifetime.
For the record, the Promoter was not Bill Graham but a gentleman by the name of Robert Strand, and he does know there is interest in bringing this back. There’s a quote, “One can only share a message in the ear of he who needs to hear it, but it doesn’t mean he will listen.” Robert is listening, but it is his process and his choice, after all, it isn’t everyday that someone comes along and produces one of the greatest music festivals of all time. Some have called this the West Coast’s Woodstock. You know, I like that, it has a nice ring to it. We’ll keep you posted.
There are those who say, why not just produce the show, whatever it takes someone can make it happen? After all, people want it to be, so why not? Today, a local Bay Area promoter who has been involved in big shows had an answer for that question – “We can, but you would need a lot of resources, access to talent and the craziness to pull it off,” he added, “so what’s stopping us, let’s just do it.” The enthusiasm is there, and one might initially just want to jump up and down and say yeah what a great idea and in one of the most beautiful areas of California too!
The founder of this show is alive and well and the question we need to ask is simple – will there be another Amador Gold Rush Festival? It’s not for us, or anyone to just go and produce this show 48 years later because we can. That would be completely disrespectful of its originator without his involvement, but most importantly his blessing. Nobody knows what it is like to put on a show such as this unless you have done it before, and if you have, you know all that it takes to make something like this a reality. It’s not just about making this happen, but to have it be successful too that is the key component to any show small or large. To be able to walk away saying, “The audience, the ticket buyers, the kids at this show had a great time, wow we did it right.” Robert Strand accomplished all of this.
Regardless of the passion one might have, or the experience, resources or as Bill Graham might say, “the Chutzpah” to make this happen, you can have it all and the money too, but it wouldn’t be the same Lake Amador Gold Rush Festival without that same bloodline attached to the show that was there 48 years ago. Believe it or not, when you put on a concert like this you shed your blood, sweat and tears for every single Band, Crew and Concertgoer with this endeavor, and only those in the mix know the mania that you go through, you do everything you can to not let anyone forget it!
If it’s meant to be it will happen. In the mean time there are a lot of new and exciting “happenings” in music once again in Northern California, from up and coming Downtown Jackson, to the new Day On the Greens, I believe the entire area is on the verge of a major music and entertainment resurgence, much to the delight of all of us concertgoers, I really can’t wait for this to happen.
Join in and let the fun begin! Visit us at the Event City Worldwide Facebook Group for a chance to win your free tickets to the new Day On the Green. Just tell us your favorite Day On the Green story, and if you never attended a Day On the Green yet, tell us a story about any show you were at, make sure it’s a good one and your input just might be rewarded with tickets to Day On the Green 2016!
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Nolan Apostle is a co-founder, writer, merchandiser, promoter, event impresario, photographer, screenwriter, food lover, and all around nice guy.
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