ASPEN, CO (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — The Jazz Aspen Snowmass has brought in AEG Live to collaborate on its Labor Day festival as well as its May festival in Sonoma, California.
“We now have a great partner and a great company that we are working with that produces festivals all over,” Horowitz said, according to the Aspen Daily News. “It means we should be able to get bigger and better talent in a timely fashion."
Horowitz said it can be hard trying to book bands for the Snowmass concerts in competition with Denver, which is a popular stop for most tours.
But by working with AEG Live, which presents 7,000 concerts a year, Horowitz said JAS should be able to book bigger bands sooner and will be able to do so consistently each year.“Last year we didn’t get the bands we wanted and we couldn’t announce them until June, and that doesn’t work,” Horowitz said according to the Aspen Daily News. “This relationship gives us the opportunity to be part of the discussion with bands now.”
The collaboration with AEG Live, which Horowitz characterized as a consulting arrangement, also extends to the JAS festival in Sonoma as AEG already is active in the San Francisco area.
JAS will remain an independent nonprofit organization, and will present its June Festival on its own.
“They are consultants basically, but we define this as a collaborative relationship,” Horowitz said. “This organization helped save the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival before Katrina. And that festival has stabilized because of their relationship with AEG.”
While Horowitz expects that JAS will get a big boost by working with AEG Live, local concert goers won’t notice any changes to the Labor Day Festival next year, except that the bands will be bigger and better.
Earlier this year, Horowitz was considering finding a different venue than Snowmass, such as the base of Buttermilk Mountain, which once played host to Widespread Panic. But according to the Aspen Daily News, he said for next year at least, the Labor Day shows will remain in Snowmass Village.
JAS, like so many other organizations, has had a couple of tough years during the recession.
This year the JAS Labor Day Festival drew 17,000 people over three days, which made it the poorest showing in at least six years.
In 2006, a four-day Labor Day Festival drew 21,500.
In 2007, the Allman Brothers packed in over 12,000 people in one night, which strained the capacity of the Snowmass venue. In all that year, 33,000 people came out.
2008 turned out to be the biggest year for the JAS Labor Day Festival so far, as 36,000 people came out for a five-day festival that include Bob Dylan, John Fogerty, Ziggy Marley and Widespread Panic.
In 2009, the Black Eye Peas drew a capacity crowd of 9,200 on one night and 23,800 people attended the overall event, according to the Aspen Daily News.
Horowitz said one goal of the collaboration with AEG Live is to consistently book bands that draw steady crowds. “By eliminating the boom and bust cycle, we should over time be a more stable nonprofit organization,” Horowitz said according to the Aspen Daily News, adding that the organization has contributed over $5 million to local music education programs in the valley.
— Crystal Lynn Huntoon