Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Suisun City approves plan to negotiate summer concerts

Excerpted from Daily Republic (Subscription required)

By Ian Thompson

SUISUN CITY - The Suisun City Council told its Recreation Department to go ahead with plans to work out a deal with Pepperbelly's Comedy and Variety Theater owner Jim Ignatieff to offer a second summer season of Harbor Nights concerts.

They also gave a thumbs-up Tuesday night to better support the "Saturday Night at the Movies" in the Harbor Plaza by offering more films.

There was more reticence to provide the First Saturday market events' organizer with funds to find more vendors, but the council agreed with the stipulation that once the venue is making a profit, the city is paid back.

Recreation Department head Mick Jessop proposed having the Harbor Nights concert series for a second season at the Harbor Plaza starting in July, offering five free concert along with three to four ticketed events.

According to a possible agreement with Ignatieff, the city would manage the free events and Ignatieff would manage the ticketed ones.

Last summer's concerts were described as going relatively well, but attendance was less than expected. It ended up costing Suisun City $30,145 and Ignatieff $34,439.

Jessop is asking the City Council to agree to pay $33,145 to help put on the 2007 concert series.

Councilmembers debated whether to close off the public dock to boaters who moor there to listen to the music for free, but chose not to close down the dock.

Councilman Mike Segala suggested more specific advertising to let residents know which concerts would be free and which would require a ticket.

Jessop forwarded a request from Saturday market promoter Debbie Kiikvee for financial support for the open-air crafts vendor markets she runs on the first Saturday of each month.

Kiikvee's events weren't well-attended in 2006 and a drop in interested vendors forced her to run the markets at a financial loss.

Jessop is asking the council for help with the 2007 Saturday markets by funding $1,000 per event for advertising and another $300 per event to allow Kiikvee to spend more time finding vendors, pre-planning the markets and developing themes for each market.

Councilman Sam Derting made the point that the city shouldn't simply pay out the $300 without a proviso that it be paid back once an increased number of vendors put the market back in the black.

Jessop wants to offer a weekly Saturday Night at the Movies that would run for eight Saturday nights starting on July 7 in the Harbor Plaza.

This idea was spurred by the popularity of the 2006 series that offered movies once a month during the summer with support from the Old Town's Business Improvement District.

No comments: