4th & B Puts Up Its Dukes Against Incoming HoB

SAN DIEGO, CA (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — The 4th & B Concert Theater looked as though its days were numbered with the news of the $11 million House of Blues moving in only two blocks away (on the corner of 5th and C, to be exact), and the departure of their veteran music talent buyer Jeff Gaulton for the nearby Belly-Up Tavern.

But 4th & B is still in the game, and ready to put up a good fight. The venue has hired Viejas Entertainment as its new talent buyer, rather than join forces with HoB.

The move is expected to increase the competition to book national and local music talent, giving fans more options for their music tastes.

“The agreement was reached this week,” Ray Johnson, 4th & B’s general manager told the San Diego Union-Tribune. “We’ve got a new competitor coming in, with HoB, but we’ll remain the independent underdog, and we’ll surprise some people.”

Viejas should be very instrumental in helping the 1,500-capacity facility to compete evenly with the 1,100-capacity HoB, which opens May 11th.

Viejas also works with Avalon Attractions in Los Angeles to book the San Diego Sports Arena, recently renamed the ipayOne Center. It also exclusively books facilities at Viejas Casino, such as the DreamCatcher Lounge and the Viejas Concerts In The Park series, and the Bayside Concerts With Viejas at Embarcadero Marina Park South. Viejas presents concerts at Copley Symphony Hall, Spreckels Theatre, UCSD’s RIMAC Arena and other venues in and around San Diego.

Steve Redfearn, president of Viejas Entertainment, and John Wojas, Viejas’ vice president of talent buying, are both former employees of Bill Silva Presents, which regularly promoted shows at 4th & B in the 1990s. The two were actually both employees of House of Blues Entertainment Inc. from 1998 until last year, when Viejas Entertainment decided to operate independently.

4th & B considered hiring HoB as one of three possible companies to work as talent buyer, but decided against the move.

”The $64,000 question we had to wrestle with,” Johnson told the paper, “was if we were better off having the healthy competition with HoB, or better off working with them. Ultimately, I think competition makes us all stronger. You can’t be afraid of it, so you go out and thrive on it. There’s enough business for all of us.”

The venue is finalizing plans for a major remodeling, and may close during the annual slow period near Labor Day. –by CelebrityAccess Staff Writers

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