Monday, November 17, 2008

New Amphitheater Manager Declares, “Fun at the Fred!”

Photo: New Frederick Brown Jr. Amphitheater Manager Nancy Price (left) and The Fred's Box Office Supervisor Sarah Davenport are all smiles as they prepare to revive "Fun At The Fred" in the 2009 concert season.

When the new manager of the Frederick Brown Jr. Amphitheater in Peachtree City stepped into her first day on the job Nov. 3, her mantra was “Fun at the Fred.”

This is the message Nancy Price will be carrying forward as she takes on the task of heading up a team to transition the popular community venue from Tourism Association oversight to city leadership.

“We are going to make 2009 a successful concert season with fun being the central theme,” said Price, a 27-year Peachtree City resident who was manager of the Villages Amphitheater in Fayetteville prior to accepting this position.

The Fred now falls under the Leisure Services Division, which oversees parks, recreation and library services.

“The amphitheater manager position fits well into the structure we have within the division, similar to other facilities such as the Library, the Gathering Place and Kedron Fieldhouse and Aquatic Center,” said Director of Leisure Services, Randy Gaddo. “We have a very talented team of city staff who are dedicated and motivated to making the Amphitheater a success.”

As the new leadership group begins to move into the 2009 concert season, several priorities will be driving them.

“We have three main priorities that we’ll be moving forward on immediately,” said Price. “In equal priority, they are current, past and future season ticket holders, sponsors and acts.”

One of the most challenging tasks the team faces is how to retain current season ticket holders and bring back some who have not renewed, as well as new ones.

“We want to ensure that loyal fans are recognized and that we try to bring back some who, for whatever reason, did not renew their season tickets,” said Price. “Our approach to the upcoming season will revolve around that intent. We have come up with a solution that I think will be a win-win for everyone.” That solution is expected to be announced sometime in the near future.

Taking care of sponsors is another key item that will be at the top of everyone’s mind.

“We want sponsors to know that we plan to give them a lot of value for their investment,” asserted Price. “We will design the season to ensure that sponsors will receive maximum benefit from the sponsorships they offer.”

The one item fans are most interested in is who will play at the Fred. What sort of acts will be attracted?

“Having ‘Fun at the Fred’ obviously revolves around who we have in concert,” said Price. She went on to explain the process of booking acts. It takes a great deal of time and coordination to synchronize band schedules with available weekends for concerts that don’t conflict with other area concerts, college or professional sports games or popular special events. All of these can be distractions that would force concert-goers to choose between events.

Ticket prices also depend on who the acts are. The more popular bands normally demand higher payment, which then drives how much tickets must cost. However, there are also very popular and fun bands who don’t charge an arm and leg.

“Our task is to develop a season that offers a good mix of entertainment at a reasonable cost and to give people options,” Price said.

One of the first tasks the team will be tackling is going over historical data to determine what people have asked for in the past. They’ll be looking at past surveys, sales statistics and individual concerts to try and determine which acts were more popular and drew the most people.

“We also have a current survey in the Update newsletter which goes to every household in Peachtree City,” Price explained. “The survey is available at the Amphitheater ticket office for those who would like to fill it out in person.” It is also available for pickup or drop off at City Hall, the Gathering Place, Library, Recreation Administration or Kedron. Or the survey can be filled out and faxed to the Amphitheater office at 770-631-0430.

Price added that she will be making presentations to local civic groups in upcoming weeks. Communication will be the key to a successful 2009 amphitheater season, according to Price, who said, “We’ll find out what people are asking for and do our best to deliver.”

For more information contact the Fred at 770-631-0630.

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