Corn Palace Festival, other events bring in slight profitConcert expenses, income detailed.
By: Tom Lawrence, The Daily Republic
Late summer and early fall concerts at the Corn Palace brought in a profit of nearly $3,000 for the city of Mitchell.
Corn Palace Director Mark Schilling provided a report on the Corn Palace Festival, held Aug. 22-26, as well as the Billy Currington and Jake Owen show, which was held on Sept. 14, and two kids’ pedal pull events held in September, to the City Council on Monday night at City Hall.
The income for the four concerts, as well as the carnival and concessions from the Corn Palace Festival and the two pedal pull events, was $379,905.64. Expenses totaled $377,109.91.
That left a profit of $2,795.73, down from a profit of $29,138.82 in 2011. But this is the second straight year the August-September shows brought in a profit after at least three straight years of losses, according to figures provided to the council and The Daily Republic.
Council President Jeff Smith said the city doesn’t seek to make a large profit on the festival. The report does not include the sales tax revenue that comes into the city during these events.
“I think we’ve accomplished what we really set out for," Smith said. “I think this is a pretty good report.”
Schilling provided cost figures for the acts, but he said the numbers are not exactly cut-and-dried. “First let me state: I hate to try to break down cost per show for the festival as many of the costs are put together and some shows are discounted by the promoter in order to promote another,” he said in an email to The Daily Republic. Schilling said this is the best possible breakdown: Billy Currington and Jake Owen: $100,000 cost, $97,491 receipts, 2,376 attendance. Happy Together: $50,000 cost, $63,880 receipts, 2,154 attendance.
Charlie Daniels and Doo Wah Riders: $43,500 cost, $41,300 receipts, 1,505 attendance.
Thompson Square and Frankie Ballard: $40,000 cost, $28,860 receipts, 1,414 attendance.
Sound, light and video cost an additional $44,000, and advertising totaled $33,480.02. Romeo Entertainment received $22,800 in agent’s fees.
There were other, lesser expenses for stagehands, ushers, ticket printing and other items.
Concerts were set for Aug. 22-26, but an Aug. 23 show featuring the rock band Hinder was canceled minutes before the show when lead singer Austin Winkler was unable to sing because of strained vocal cords.
Hinder was to be paid $50,000 but received nothing since the band did not take the stage. Opening act Kory & the Fireflies, a South Dakota band, did play and was paid $2,000. There were other costs for advertising, stagehands, lights and sound, Schilling said.
Hinder, except for Winkler, came out on stage and apologized to the crowd of 1,007. They thanked the fans for understanding and promised to return for another show. Fans received refunds on their tickets.
Schilling said no makeup date has been set, and he didn’t know if such a concert will be scheduled.
Councilman Mel Olson, noting that country singer Loretta Lynn missed a show last year, and Hinder canceling this show, asked if insurance is an option. Schilling said no such insurance is available.
“That’s a risk you take,” he said.
The Corn Palace Festival also brought in $55,445 from the carnival, $22,500 from sponsorships and promotions, $21,640 from vendors’ licenses, $16,031.70 from beer sales, and other, lesser amounts from other offerings.
“We had basically every spot on the street filled,” Schilling told the council.
He said vendors want to return and rates may be raised since there is such a demand. The other shows at the city-owned facility this year will be profitable, Schilling said, with the upcoming Oak Ridge Boys show doing well with ticket sales.