VENUE UPDATES: Eagles Set Mississippi Coast Coliseum Record … And Much More!

Due to overwhelming demand, the Eagles have added a second concert (July 19) at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum in Biloxi, MS on their current seven-week "Summer Tour 2002." The added show marks the first time any music group has played the building on consecutive nights. They are now set to play Biloxi July 19-20.

Concerts Return To Lower Manhattan

More than 500 free concerts, 1,500 acts and cultural events have returned to 20 venues in lower Manhattan, just nine months after the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. The budget is a whopping $7.6 million. The weekday noon-2 PM free concerts on the World Trade Center Plaza between the former Twin Towers has been shifted to Fulton Street Seaport, about a half a mile to the East on the East River. Tuesdays are oldies, Wednesdays are jazz with CD 101.9, Thursdays are rock with Q 104.3 and Fridays are blues with Bloomberg–Mose Allison and John Hammond are the only two announced bookings.

Some of the highlights include Sheryl Crow's May 30 performance at the Lawn at Battery Park, sponsored by American Express, with 10,000 patrons receiving ponchos, shirts and cushions. The Jazz Orchestra of Lincoln Center featuring Wynton Marsalis plays on July 4 while Cassandra Wilson's performance is timed for the last big summer holiday, Labor Day. Other Battery Park concerts include Vernon Reid and James "Blood" Ulmer, John Scofield and Jerry Douglas at the Nelson A. Rockefeller Park in Battery Park City; The Klezmatics, Duke Robillard and The Hiram Bullock Trio at the Robert F. Wagner, Jr. Park at Battery Park City; and Roseanne Cash, Jane Siberry and The Derek Trucks band at the Castle Clinton National Monument in Battery Park.

Randy Newman, Lea Delaria and Toshi Reagon will perform on the Plaza of the World Financial Center.

Sandstone Amphitheatre Renamed Verizon Wireless Amphitheater

In a seven-year deal, Verizon Wireless has acquired the naming rights to Sandstone Amphitheatre in Bonner Springs, KS — its seventh such amphitheater title. Financial terms were not disclosed.

"This is a very exciting day for Clear Channel Entertainment, Verizon Wireless and Kansas City music fans," said Patrick Leahy, Clear Channel Entertainment’s Central-Region COO – Music. "Verizon Wireless Amphitheater is one of America’s premier concert venues, and we are thrilled that Verizon Wireless recognizes the abundant opportunities provided by having its name connected to a venue famous for attracting the biggest names in entertainment."

"The sponsorship of Kansas City’s best-known music entertainment venue is part of our aggressive strategy to increase awareness of the Verizon Wireless brand," said Mark Crumpton, President of Kansas/Missouri Verizon Wireless. "It is a good match for us, because many of the people who enjoy performances at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater lead busy, active lives. We believe they are likely to embrace our advanced wireless technology to stay in touch with friends, family and work."

Lincoln National Buys Stadium Naming Rights

US Life insurer Lincoln National Corporation has purchased the naming rights to the new 67,000-seat NFL Philadelphia Eagles stadium being built. The company is paying $139.6 million to have the stadium called Lincoln Financial Field.

Lincoln will pay the NFL team about $6.7 million annually for 21 years, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer. The Eagles' are putting $320 million into the building of the $512 million stadium, scheduled to open next year.

Lincoln National Corp is the sixth largest US life insurer.

Lincoln Center Name Dispute Simmers

NEW YORK (AP) — Music has been resonating for decades from the stage of Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall, world famous as the home of The New York Philharmonic.

But as the center develops plans to substantially renovate the concert hall or build a new one, the family of the late philanthropist fears the Fisher name will be dropped to make way for a new benefactor willing to pay the bill.

Fisher's heirs are prepared to go to court to protect the name, although the two sides say they will meet this week to try to work out an understanding. The outcome, analysts say, could set a precedent for how philanthropists and cultural organizations negotiate naming rights.

Fisher, an electronics mogul, donated $10.5 million in 1973 to rebuild the acoustically flawed Philharmonic Hall first erected in 1962. There was one condition: the hall must be named after him in perpetuity.

"In perpetuity means forever, and if we have to go to court to protect the name, we will," said Fisher family attorney William Zabel. "But we hope to work it out. We really don't want to go to court."

Lincoln Center's president, Reynold Levy, said he hopes to "amicably settle this matter with the Fisher family. We intend to continue discussion to reach a positive conclusion."

But Levy also noted that Lincoln Center is undertaking a 10-year redevelopment of its entire, seven-building campus at a cost expected to top $1 billion.

Most of that money must be raised through private donors, "and people want their names on things," said Sedgwick Clark, editor of Musical America, classical music's top trade magazine.

A new or vastly renovated concert hall for the city's premier orchestra could easily top $300 million.

Peter Frumkin, a Harvard University professor who teaches about philanthropy and nonprofit organizations, said the disagreement reflects a change in the unwritten rules that have long guided philanthropists and their beneficiaries.

"In the past," he said, "gifts were generally conveyed on an honorary system, and the organization would recognize the person. Over time, that genteel system has been replaced with a more contractual system. Donors want recognition, and the gift has gone from being a gift to being a contract."

Fisher died in 1994, leaving his family the fortune he had made producing the first transistorized amplifier and the first stereo radio-phonograph combination.

A tribute to a past donor could well take a back seat in the current financial climate. Lincoln Center — also home to the Metropolitan Opera, the New York City Ballet, the New York City Opera and other major cultural organizations — can no longer rely on public aid from a city facing multibillion-dollar deficits.

Levy said there's plenty of money waiting to be given away.

"The 1990s have witnessed the largest aggregation of private wealth in the history of this country," said Levy, a former professor at Harvard Business School. "And while the stock market has declined, private wealth is in much better shape today than it was a decade ago. This is a very positive climate in which to raise money for worthy causes."

Fans to Mark Last Elvis Show

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The last building that Elvis left may be gone, but some fans are doing their part to make sure it's not forgotten.

When Elvis Presley took the stage at Market Square Arena during the summer of 1977, no one knew it would be his last show.

On June 26, the 25th anniversary of that concert, a group of Presley fans will dedicate a historical marker at the site where the arena stood until it was demolished last year.

The marker will bear an inscription in bronze reading "Ladies and Gentlemen, Elvis has left the building" atop a granite column.

"We've designed it in such a way that when something else is developed there, hopefully we'll be able to still use it in a cornerstone," said Kay Lipps, chairman of the Taking Care of Presley Memorial Committee.

The marker will be erected on a street corner overlooking the gravel parking lot where the arena once stood. A time capsule encased within it will hold Presley memorabilia.

Presley died Aug. 16, 1977, from heart disease worsened by prescription drug abuse.

"The edifices, the places that we played in, were good places," said Al Dvorin, Presley's show announcer from 1955 until his death. "If the cities have seen fit to put up bigger places, so be it. But our memories lie in places where we've played,"

Dvorin, whose trademark announcement, "Elvis has left the building, thank you and good night," closed each of Presley's shows, will be on hand for the marker's dedication.

Blues Cruises Add Second Night In New York

Blue Water Music, producers of the New York City Blues Cruise around lower Manhattan, have added another night for the 2002 season. Generally, it is Wednesday and Thursday but for the opening week, it will be Thursday and Friday.

It still is two cruises each night at 7 PM and 9:30 PM from Pier 16 at The South Street Seaport

The schedule of blues, R&B, swing, soul, boogie and zydeco cruises are:

Thursday June 27 Martin Sexton

Friday June 28 Martin Sexton

Wednesday July 3 Popa Chubby

Wednesday July 10 NRBQ

Thursday July 11 The Radiators

Wednesday July 17 TBA

Thursday July 18 Little Ed & The Blues Imperials

Wednesday July 24 Buckwheat Zydeco

Thursday July 25 Southern Culture On The Skids

Wednesday July 31 TBA

Thursday Aug 1 Shemekia Copeland

Wednesday Aug 7 Marcia Ball

Thursday Aug 8 Roomful Of Blues

Wednesday Aug 14 James Cotton

Thursday Aug 15 Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown

Wednesday Aug 21 Terrance Simien

Thursday Aug 22 Chuck Mangione

Wednesday Aug 28 The Dudes(Formerly The Subdudes)

Thursday Aug 29 The Iguanas

Lombardi Named GM Of Gaylord Entertainment Center

Hugh Lombardi has been named Russ Simons' replacement as general manager at Nashville's Gaylord Entertainment Center. Most recently, Lombardi handled bookings at The Palace of Auburn Hills, DTE Energy Music Theatre and Meadow Brook Music Festival. Simons joined HOK Sport+Event+Venue, an architectural firm specializing in public assembly facilities, in Kansas City, MO.

Sonhheim Musicals Hot At The Kennedy Center

The Kennedy Center's Sondheim Celebration, in which six musicals by Stephen Sondheim will be mounted over four months, is breaking some box-office records. The festival opened on May 12 with "Sweeney Todd," starring Brian Stokes Mitchell and Christine Baranski. "Company" opened the following week. Both shows have sold out their runs. "Sunday in the Park With George" opens June 2, while "Passion," "A Little Night Music" and "Merrily We Roll Along" open in July and August.

The Kennedy Center reported setting a new one-day ticket sales record in February when it sold $632,000 worth of tickets for the Sondheim festival, which is now about 80 percent sold out.

MSG's Marquee To Be Used For Branch Concert

Michelle Branch will perform a concert in New York on June 2 in an unusual venue: atop the Madison Square Garden marquee. This promotional show is before the home opener of the New York Liberty of the professional women's basketball league WNBA. However, this is not a novel venue: Puffy Combs was the only other artist to utilize the setting.

The Garden's sister venue Radio City Music Hall also has hosted numerous acts on its marquee, generally before the MTV Music Video Awards.

Madison Blues Festival 2002

The fifth annual Madison Blues Festival 2002 will be held in Olin Park in Madison, WI on August 23-24. Delbert McClinton, Maceo Parker, The Elvin Bishop Band, Deborah Coleman, Lucky Peterson, Rosie Ledet and Popa Chubby are booked on August 23. Aretha Franklin, Buddy Guy, Irma Thomas, Bobby Rush, North Mississippi Allstars, Pinetop Perkins and His Band featuring Bob Margolin and Carey Bell and Joe Louis Walker are set for August 24. There is also a second stage each day. The festival is a Jam/Last Coast Production promotion. Two-day tickets are $55; one day tickets are $30.

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