April 23, 2018
ROB O'NEAL/The Citizen                                                                                
Eddie Money opens Sunday night's first show at the Key West Amphitheater with his first hit single, 'Baby Hold On.' The former New York city cop ran through his three decades of tunes, under the stars, at the Truman Waterfront.
ROB O'NEAL/The Citizen Eddie Money opens Sunday night's first show at the Key West Amphitheater with his first hit single, 'Baby Hold On.' The former New York city cop ran through his three decades of tunes, under the stars, at the Truman Waterfront.
The New Year’s Eve Eddie Money concert at the amphitheater at Truman Waterfront Park resulted in an approximate $50,000 loss for organizers and payments for city services for the event have yet to be paid.
A lack of walk-up ticket sales combined with high upfront costs to host the concert resulted in a loss, although the event has not discouraged organizers from hosting future events in Key West, according to Impact Events LLC Executive Producer John Campbell.
“We were hoping for a significant walk-up crowd the day of,” Campbell said. “It just didn’t materialize.”
Organizers knew the show could be a loss going in and weren’t sure if other New Year’s festivities taking place simultaneously would help or hurt ticket sales and they ended up hurting, Campbell said.
The crowd size was between 40 and 50 percent of the expected turnout. More than 1,000 tickets were sold, far less than the estimated 3,500 capacity for the venue, he said.
As a result of the loss, some added city services and charity donations have yet to be paid, but those checks were to be sent by this weekend, Campbell said.
City Manager Jim Scholl said staff has been in contact with Impact Events and he is not concerned about the delayed payments.
“I know it takes them awhile sometimes to do all the financial reconciliation,” Scholl said. “I’m not worried.”
The group paid the city fee of $8,000 for use of the venue prior to the concert and the delayed checks are for additional services such as security and cleanup, as well as the donation to nonprofit group Sister Season, which Campbell indicated is sizable.
“People have generated some decent revenues from this, except for us,” he said.
The city will hold off on fee changes or any other adjustments with the amphitheater’s management until a venue manager is hired, Scholl said.
“That’s the venue manager’s job,” he said. “We’ll figure that all out when we get the venue manager.”
Applicants have until May 2 to formally apply for the position, according to city records.
The loss won’t keep Impact Events from hosting future shows in Key West, but promoters should be aware of price points and “proceed with caution” with the new venue, Campbell said.
“We’re not ready to give up but it was something that set us back on our heels,” Campbell said. “I love Key West and I love the people of Key West … so to give up after one (show) would just be silly.”
sunger@keysnews.com