Jackson County Expo And Britt Festivals Spar Over Lithia Shed

CENTRAL POINT, OR (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — The Jackson County Expo may be looking for a way to alter its contract with promoter Britt Festivals as it attempts to contend with the financial woes that have plagued the two-year-old Lithia Motors Amphitheater.

According to a report by the Mail Tribune, the change is being considered because of the paucity of shows that have been staged at the shed which has seen only 6 since it opened. Currently Britt Festivals has the right of refusal on all shows — if the Expo get their way, they will be able to book shows there at least 60 days a week.

Expo Director Chris Borovansky told the Mail-Tribune that "It hasn't been that successful, we all thought there would be more shows out there."

According to Kelly Gonzalez, marketing director for Britt Festivals, its not as simple as just booking more shows. Gonzales told the Mail-Tribune that the asking price for artists has climbed in the last year by as much as 30%, with performers looking for additional revenue streams to compensate for flagging CD sales. Additionally, the casino boom has made it increasingly difficult to book shows into the venue. The shed itself, Gonzales says, is part of the problem as well. Its a mid-sized venue, making it fiscally unviable for small or large shows to be put on there. It also lacks adequate protection from inclement weather, with the stage vulnerable to accumulating water, it lacks dressing rooms and the facility lacks dedicated parking areas.

Borovansky wants to work with Britt though to try to resolve some of these problems. Plans are in the works to install screening to protect the stage from water and to give the shed some backstage facilities.

This apparent collaborative spirit on the part of the Expo staff doesn't mean the end of the contretemps with Britt though. According to June Brock, president of the Jackson County Fair Board who oversees the Expo, the relationship with Britt remains "In flux", adding that "We don't even know if there is any way to make the agreement go away (legally), or if it is in the best interest of the Expo." Some sort of new agreement will have to be reached soon it seems — according to Borovansky, "We really need a stable funding base, we're operating hand to mouth."- CelebrityAccess Staff Writers

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