Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Summer concerts to bring big-name music

Live music venue in Elkhorn meant to attract community

Express Staff Writer

Taylor Sturges, Debbie Bacca and Paris Nicholson are organizing an Elkhorn summer concert series sponsored by Quigley Canyon. Photo by Willy Cook

The idea of bringing a concert series to Elkhorn is not new. Summer shows in Elkhorn used to occur on a regular basis, but not in the past decade. In an effort to fortify community and give life to Elkhorn, a summer concert series will return for 2009.

The success of the Elkhorn Springs restaurant supper club led to new ideas for Elkhorn, including a rejuvenation of a concert series. Sponsored by Quigley Canyon, an Elkhorn summer concert series was born. Event organizers Paris Nicholson, Debbie Bacca and Taylor Sturges joined forces to book bands, submit permits, hire local event production people and satisfy city officials and residents.

"I started to think outside the box and how I could draw people to Elkhorn," Bacca said. "I have been in the valley for 21 years and I know how fun it used to be."

Besides an aging community and empty residences, Bacca said, there is nothing happening in Elkhorn. Producing a concert series has presented an opportunity to team up with several local businesses to make the events sustainable and enjoyable.

The summer concert series will take place in the Elkhorn Village center, and will feature G. Love & Special Sauce on Thursday, July 16, the Drive-By Truckers on Thursday, Aug. 13, and Big Head Todd and the Monsters on Thursday, Sept. 3. Tickets will be sold locally at Atkinsons' Market and The Market at Elkhorn Springs, plus through the Internet. Ticket sales will commence at a later date to be announced. The venue will be open from 6-10 p.m. for each concert. Tickets will cost $37.50 plus tax or $100 plus tax for the whole series.

"It is something fun to do, get out of the house and start off a weekend on a Thursday night," Bacca said. "We don't want to upset neighbors in Elkhorn and Sun Valley and we are hopeful that people will be respectful of the surroundings so these concerts can continue for the future."

Elkhorn concert series organizers have set up free transportation with Mountain Rides from Bellevue to Elkhorn with stops in between, as well as return trips after the shows. Babysitting will be available at the Wood River Community YMCA in Ketchum, and in Hailey at the Sun Valley Ballet School, which will also have Mountain Rides bus pick-up and drop-off.

Parking will be available at the Sun Valley Horseman's Center. Organizers are expecting more than 1,000 cyclists to ride bikes to the venue, where there will be a bike valet and bike tune-ups available. The venue will have a variety of local vendors selling food and drinks.

"We chose the three bands because they are bands that appeal to all ages," Nicholson said. "These bands reach this audience and we are not doing VIP because we don't want to promote elitism."

Nicholson said it will take everyone working together to make the series successful. She said she hopes the series will at least break even and any proceeds will be donated to area nonprofits. Proceeds from bike valet will support the Sun Valley Road and Dirt children's biking program.

"Show us love and show city officials we need this," Nicholson said. "This is getting the ball rolling and has potential for greatness."

For details call 720-4354.

Sabina Dana Plasse:

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