Category: Regional Reports

Logjammed: Montana’s Hottest Promoter Plots Comeback

The KettleHouse Brewing Co. (red building) and KettleHouse Amphitheater in Bonner, Mont. (Getty Images) Nick Checota has quickly become one of the key figures of Montana’s entertainment industry. The promoter and venue operator, a journeyman who worked in finance, consulting, and real estate before heading west about a decade ago, founded Logjam Presents in 2016, where he oversees a modest Big Sky Country empire that includes the 550-capacity Top Hat, the 4,500-capacity KettleHouse Amphitheater, and more. In keeping with his prominent status, when Checota connects with VenuesNow on a mid-December morning, he’s just getting off another call – with Montana Senator John Tester (D), as the Senate weighs including the live events industry in pandemic relief legislation before adjourning for the holidays. “The nice thing about Montana is we still have access to our leaders, unlike places like California,” he wryly jokes. “If we want to talk to our senator […]

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Updates From Constitution Hall, Hampton Coliseum

DAR Constitution Hall remains the same on the outside, but big changes await visitors when the building reopens. (Courtesy venue) A spotlight in our December issue checked in with venue managers from around the District of Columbia, Virginia and West Virginia. Here are responses from a couple of them; for more, please check out the full story. Paul Guilderson, managing directorDAR Constitution Hall, Washington, D.C. How was venue business before the shutdown?We were about average for bookings in that time frame. What big shows did your venue host over that period?World Bank – IMF Board of Governors Meeting and numerous other corporate events. Quite a few comedy shows, including Aziz Ansari, Bert Kreischer, Jo Koy, “My Brother, My Brother and Me.” The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song (tribute concert). What changes did your venue make or get started on before the shutdown? We were set to commence […]

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Spotlight: D.C., Virginia and West Virginia

READY FOR TAKEOFF: Scope Arena in Norfolk, Va., will have new seating and a new center-hung scoreboard when fans return. (Mike Pennello) Preparing for Reentry Region’s venues remake themselves for when the curtain rises As the holiday season arrives, venues in Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington, D.C., remain shuttered, like many across the country. And, like peers in other markets, venue professionals from the area sing a familiar tune: Before the pandemic’s arrival, 2020 was set to be a banner year. But venue operators are optimistic that greener pastures are ahead in 2021. In recent years, the region has become a live industry hotbed, hosting coveted tours and programming as glitzy new venues open. Many of the facilities in the area have used forced closures to improve facilities and streamline procedures, so that venues are ready to go when the fog of the coronavirus pandemic lifts.   CLICK HERE FOR […]

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Carolinas and Georgia: Ready for Action

HOT IN ATL: State Farm Arena welcomed  the Eagles, Elton John and Ariana Grande. (Courtesy State Farm Arena) Tri-state area’s venues ready to get back to the success they were seeing before shutdown Like much of the country, the novel coronavirus pandemic forced the closure of most venues across North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia. But venues are slowly coming back online. Mercedes-Benz Stadium and the Atlanta Falcons hosted the Seattle Seahawks for a game on Sept. 13, albeit without fans. A stone’s throw away, State Farm Arena and the Atlanta Hawks responded to the George Floyd protests in late May and early June by arranging for the venue to become a polling place — the state’s largest — for elections in August and November. Meanwhile, clubs such as North Carolina’s Cat’s Cradle and The Orange Peel have maintained their cultural presence by hosting audience-less livestreams throughout the crisis. Top […]

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Canada First?

ROGERS THAT: Rogers Place in Edmonton has had a big year, even after the shutdown. (Courtesy Oilers Entertainment Group) Country ahead of the U.S. on path back to live events The coronavirus pandemic continues to roil the United States, but its northern neighbor has fared better: As of Aug. 17, Canada had reported only 122,000 cases, compared with the United States’ total of well over 5.4 million. TOP STOPS: CANADA Canada’s border remains closed to Americans until at least Sept. 21, but with death totals in the single digits nearly every day in late July and early August, Canada has begun its reopening. In August, movie theaters even began welcoming customers once again — at half capacity — giving North American box offices their first good news in months. Like the United States, Canada has a long road ahead before crowds fill stands at stadiums, arenas, theaters and clubs once again. […]

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Southwest: Feeling the Heat

Between his Rebel Lounge and other venues in the region booked through his company, local promoter and venue operator Stephen Chilton and his team booked more than 600 shows last year. This year looks like it will end with 75. “I’m not very optimistic we’ll do any more this year,” he said.

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