Making new plans: Major promoter and city cut ties

Submitted by Carbondale Times on

Dustin Duncan
Weekend Times

    The city of Carbondale has been promoting a downtown street festival for the weekend prior to the eclipse with possible national music act as a headline, but it appears things won’t go as planned.
    Carbondale City Manager Gary Williams said Wednesday that Arizona-based promoter Danny Zelisko Presents and the city no longer have a contract together. He said the city had been waiting for a “number of months” for the promoter to make an announcement, and sometime in May, the promoter told the city it wasn’t going to be able to make it work for that particular weekend.
    “So we’re keeping our options open and exploring other opportunities at this time,” Williams said.
    The city manager said there were a combination of things that led to not being able to land a big name. Proximity could have been one of those factors, he said. 
    “The main one is when you are trying to schedule bands and you have a venue you are trying to promote, the ideal situation is to get a band en route from one location to another,” Williams said. “If you can’t get the en route, and if a band is willing to go to your location, the costs are often inflated and several times what they would normally charge which makes it unfeasible.”
    He said the restriction of the desired event being on Friday, Saturday and Sunday with not much flexibility could have also been a driving factor.
    “I don’t think there was any lack of trying,” he said. “I think they really tried to pull it off.”
    In December, the city pledged to enter into a $50,000 municipal sponsorship agreement with Danny Zelisko Presents for the festival, which was expected to have a budget in the $1 million range. Williams said the city and the promoter both agreed to wait until the talent was booked for money to change hands.
    “Which ended up working out in our favor,” he said. “Nobody owes anybody anything.”
    Now, the city has switched gears and are in talks with a promoter from St. Louis. It won’t be national touring acts, Williams said, but more of a mix of bands for Friday and Saturday night.  He did not name the promoter from St. Louis.
    Williams said the city isn’t going to sacrifice talent just because it had to move on to plan B.  
    “It’s got to be a win-win for the community. Again, this is just one set back,” he said. “We shouldn’t let our future success be predicated by this. And we are not going to put on a show for the sake of putting on a show.”