CLIO, Mich. (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — The Clio City Commission has voted to invest a much-needed 40,000 dollars into the troubled Clio Area Amphitheater. The unanimous vote also included provisions to create a new seven member board of directors to oversee operations at the venue, the Flint Journal reported.
The Amphitheater, fallen far from its heydey when it hosted concerts by the likes of B.B. King, has been largely unused since it went into chapter 7 bankruptcy protection in 2005, despite the efforts of a stalwart band of volunteers. In an effort to revive the venue's prospects, the volunteers staged a series of free events but a combination of weather and poor attendance hampered their efforts.
"This year, weather was our major problem," Doug Vance, a member of the amphitheater committee told the Flint Journal. "Our two big events, the Clio High School graduation and the Marine concert, went on but not in the amphitheater. Because our biggest concerts were not in the amphitheater, we lost a lot in concessions. It was a big drop-off."
The new plan, unveiled by interim City Administrator Jack Abernathy, would utilize money diverted from a fund the city holds to settle lawsuits to fund a series of six concerts, scheduled from June – August. The money would cover the costs technical costs at the amphitheater, booking agents and marketing.
"We're looking to expand the variety of shows we can ratchet that up a whole lot by bringing in some new concerts," Vance said "We used to have 30,000 people attend the big shows. We need a more permanent committee whose passion is the amphitheater, so they can spend a lot of time on it."
According to the Journal, part of the revitalization plan may include using tribute acts as a way to revitalize the venue. "We've had luck with the tribute shows — there's a good market for that music," said Larry Brandeberry of Madison Heights-based Jack Grenier Productions talent agency, among those participating in a recent meeting. "You almost think you're seeing the real thing. In Frankenmuth, their free concerts draw between 7,000 and 8,000 people. My intention is to find the right groups for the Clio area." – CelebrityAccess Staff Writers