NEW YORK (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — The New York State Fair has pacted with Triangle Talent to produce 7 entertainment events at the state fair's grandstand. Triangle came in with the low-bid for this year, with a total price of $48,500, approximately 10 times less than the fair payed to Live Nation for 11 shows in 2008.
Although the contract with Triangle is for fewer shows than the Live Nation deal last year, the firm's CEO Dave Snowden has stated that Triangle could deliver 11 shows to the fair for $62,000. Triangle's low bid isn't underwritten by by booking bands no one's heard of either and they have already reportedly booked Kenny Chesney to perform at the fair this year.
Triangle was one of three companies to submit bids to book events at the fair and under-bid Live Nation this year.
The New York State Fair drew heavy criticism when they awarded Live Nation a no-bid contract to book the grandstand shows at the fair last year. It was a pretty meaty contract at that, with the state paying the promoter $580,872 in exchange for 11 shows for the fairs 17,000 capacity grandstand.
Despite the criticism, Live Nation delivered the goods, booking shows by Toby Keith, Rascal Flats and the Jonas Brothers among others.
"We had a great 2008 concert series. We broke a lot of records. Attendance records. Gross receipts records. We had a profit at the end of last year's season," State Fair director Dan O'Hara told the The Post-Standard "I'm very pleased with the outcome."
O'Hara was instrumental in striking the deal with Live Nation, and defended the no-bid nature of the contract, stating that there wasn't time to solicit bids.
O'Hara's certainty isn't shared by everyone and some, such as State Sen. Catharine Young, have called for an investigation into the matter.
"This situation shows the absolute need for open and accountable government. We are realizing enormous savings at the state fair by going out to bid instead of having a non-competitive situation." Young told the Post-Standard.
To compound matters for O'Hara, the story around the awarding of the contract last year appears to be quite ugly. Joe LaGuardia, who booked events for the fair for 30 years claims that he was fired last year to make room for Live Nation and the fair's former budget director Richard Guanciale claims to have been fired after he started raising questions about the contract.
Still, O'Hara defends the decision.
"We stand behind the decision we made," O'Hara told the The Post-Standard "I don't think we made any mistakes." – CelebrityAccess Staff Writers