Friday, May 29, 2009

Elkhorn concert plan hops hurdles

City: hiccups just part of the process

Express Staff Writer

It's been nearly 15 years since Elkhorn hosted any major concerts, and the time lag has shown a bit.

In planning this summer's Elkhorn concert series featuring G Love & Special Sauce, Drive-By Truckers and Big Head Todd and the Monsters, the organizers of the concerts ran into a couple of hiccups.

One issue was a typo in the city's application for special-event permits. Since October 2007, the city of Sun Valley has levied a local option tax of 3 percent on food and non-alcoholic beverages sold by vendors. But the permit application incorrectly says it will only collect 2 percent from vendors.

Sun Valley City Clerk Kelly Ek acknowledged the error and said the city will fix it.

Paris Nicholson, an organizer of the concert series, expressed frustration, however, and said he asked about the misprint in the first week of March.

The unexpected tax forced concert organizers to increase their ticket prices to $37.50 per show, and they have yet to decide how much the vendors will charge.

Nicholson said organizers have had a fair share of logistical issues as well. They wanted to hold the concert on the Elkhorn Golf Course lawns, but were shut down by the city due to fire concerns. The concerts will now be held in the Elkhorn Village parking lot.

Mayor Wayne Willich agreed it has not been an easy process.

"We had to work out some details like how the event would come off, fire safety issues and on and on and on," Willich said. "We started by being concerned."

Ultimately, the city approved the concert series and agreed to waive the fees assessed for extra time incurred by the city police and fire departments.

"You have to try these things," Willich said. "You can't just turn people down and say we don't want to do anything. We want to work with people who want to stimulate activity around here."

Elkhorn concerts

The Elkhorn 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, and through the Internet. Ticket sales will commence at date to be announced. For details call 720-4354.

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