Center concerts generate $50K, costs unknown

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Concert producer Rich Engler introduces The Marshall Tucker Band at the center. Islander Photo: Ryan Paice

Rock ’n’ roll took center stage.

And the money rolled in.

Some financial results have been released for a concert series at the Center of Anna Maria Island.

But the numbers lack detailed expenses and fail to paint a full picture.

The series, which began Feb. 8 and ended April 1, featured The Outlaws, Phil Vassar, Judy Collins, BJ Thomas and The Marshall Tucker Band. The Bradenton Area Convention and Visitors Bureau paid $100,000 to sponsor the music series from the Manatee County Tourist Development Council budget.

Janene Amick, chief executive officer of the Manatee Performing Arts Center, said in an interview April 10 the inaugural series of events generated about $94,000 in ticket sales — $6,000 short of breaking even with the funding provided.

The series was intended to help counter the effects of red tide in 2018 on local businesses and people who work in the service industry, and to attract people to the nonprofit venues, including MPAC, which managed the concerts, and for the MPAC to become known as a host of all types of entertainment.

David Zaccagnino, board chair of the center, wrote in a text message April 11 to The Islander that he believed the series successfully brought patrons to the area and its businesses.

“Reports back from some restaurants said they had great sales on those nights in particular,” he wrote.

Amick said revenue from the series will be split between the center and MPAC, with the center set to receive about $50,000 in ticket sales revenue. She said MPAC’s overhead for the series, including the costs of operating the box office for every concert, were not considered in the revenue split.

While the income from ticket sales is clear, expenses remain unclear.

Amick said the $100,000 allocated by the TDC for the series went to the producer, Pittsburgh promoter Rich Engler, and the bands that performed.

MPAC paid some expenses incurred at the center, including valet services, as well as the rental of sound and light systems, which are included in a financial report Amick was expected to present at the April 15 TDC meeting, after The Islander went to press.

However, Amick said the center incurred expenditures that were not accounted for in her report, including costs for security, chair rentals, food and beverages.

“I was very thankful for (the center), because they stretched themselves,” she said. “I’m sure they incurred costs I don’t even know of to make that work.”

Zaccagnino refused to detail any concert-related expenses in a text message April 9 to The Islander.

Chris Culhane, executive director of the center, wrote in an email April 10 to The Islander that he wouldn’t provide any information on expenses incurred by the center until after Amick delivered her report to the TDC at the April 15 meeting at the center.

MPAC also was paid by the county from tourist development tax dollars to host Jane Seymour in a talk titled, “Up Close and Personal: The Open Heart Philosophy,” during the celebrity’s appearances in January.

A summary of the “Open Hearts Sculpture Event with Jayne (sic) Seymour” furnished to The Islander by TDC Chair/County Commissioner Carol Whitmore showed $193,981.50 was spent for the celebrity appearances and the statue installed at Bradenton’s Riverwalk park.

The payment includes $45,000 to MPAC for sponsorship and $137,116.84 paid to Realize Bradenton for the “Open Heart public art project— sculpture.”

But as of April 12, other detailed expenditures, emails and documents had not been provided to The Islander as part of a records request made March 15 to the BACVB, Whitmore and the county records department.

The Islander received county purchase orders April 11 for the Seymour event and the concert series along with minutes excerpted from a TDC meeting and other documents that were already sourced. Other requested records were not provided as of press time.

Also, The Marshall Tucker Band appearance April 1 at the Center of Anna Maria Island was not detailed in any of the documents.

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