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Oshkosh Disappointed With PMI Work At Leach Amphitheater

OSHKOSH, WI (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — The promoter hired to manage the Leach Amphitheater is facing criticism from the Oshkosh Common Council about its ability to book national acts and allow for community-based events at the municipally-owned facility on the Fox River in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

About to start its third season operating the shed, PMI has been under fire following a report it gave to the city outlining goals for the 2007 season, according to The Northwestern.

“I guess they are doing what we asked them to do, but I was hoping for so much more,” former councilor Meredith Scheuermann told the paper.

PMI president Ken Wachter said the goal for 2007 is to book three to six shows at the venue and at least break even. PMI also leases the space for the popular summer concert series Waterfest, which is separately managed and operated.

Ticket sales and revenue from PMI have been less than expected during the company’s tenure, including a loss of almost $11,500 from operating expenses in 2006.

“When Waterfest on a Thursday is selling ‘.38 Special’ for $7…and I come back two days later and have a $45 ticket, it makes our ticket look dramatically higher,” Wachter said. “Unless the band has such a strong appeal to you, that’s one of the problems we’ve looked at when booking the building.”

The council is not impressed with the goals of simply breaking even.

“It’s up to them how much money they want to make on it, but I don’t think we’re using it to its potential if their goal is to break even,” Councilor Paul Esslinger told the paper.

The city receives $30,000 in payment from PMI each year, but would like to see Leach used for more than just a Waterfest venue and a handful of PMI-run shows.

Wachter said the puzzle at Leach is figuring out which artists people will pay to see, as more than a dozen acts either rejected offers or had ticket prices too high to sell out the venue.

“It’s busy. It’s not for lack of entertainment in the summer,” said Wachter. “I almost think the amphitheater is a success. It’s the perception of what’s a success that’s the problem.” –by CelebrityAccess Staff Writers