Sunday, August 3, 2008

Moncton Big Winner...

I was in Moncton last night for the Eagles concert and contrary to popular belief there was no rain just an exciting concert that brought over 55,000 people to Moncton. We arrived around 4:30 pm just in time to catch K.T. Tunstall a Scottish singer song writer (Black Horse and the Cherry Tree) pound out some beautiful tunes on at least a half dozen different guitars. She was followed by John Fogerty of CCR fame (an all time favourite of mine) who "rocked" the audience and then at 9:00 pm the EAGLES set stage to perform one of the best concerts to ever hit Atlantic Canada. Moncton was the big winner and NB Premier Shawn Graham and his wife were fully immersed in the event and you can rest assured that Moncton will be bigger and better next year. It wouldn't hurt for a few people from our Government and some of our City folks to take note of the comments made in the following interview of Donald Tarlton of Donald K. Donald fame particularly as they relate to Government “investing in infrastructure” and the City being "very accommodating and obliging". All the organizers were patting each other on the back, which they should have been, as it was a first class act and I doubt it very much the headlines tomorrow will be about some small group of citizens whining about the noise...
More big-names headed to Moncton!
Saturday August 2nd, 2008
Promoter says improvements to concert site help convince bands to come here
Greg Agnew/Times & Transcript
After more than 40 years of promoting and organizing concerts and musical events across the country, Donald K. Tarlton says he loves Moncton and will do his best to continue bringing big-name acts to the Magnetic Hill Concert Site in the future.
"We love Moncton because it is really easy for people to get here from a lot of different places, and the investments the city and the provincial government have made to this site have done a lot to cut down the costs of producing a show, and it's paying off. The City of Moncton has been very accommodating and obliging," Tarlton said in an interview in front of the huge stage where the Eagles will play tonight.
"You can't do the show without the support of the government."
The city and the province have invested several million dollars into infrastructure improvements at the concert site. This year's improvements included a new electrical box, permanent washrooms, water supply and work on the ground to create gravel pads for the heavy stage and other infrastructure.
He says Metro Moncton put itself on the global concert map three years ago when the city hosted the Rolling Stones in an outdoor show that drew more than 80,000 people. He says the Stones show should be a memorable landmark in music history for the region for the size of the crowd and how well the event went off.
Tarlton also shared a tidbit of information that could add to the legend.
"Mick Jagger actually got dressed up in a disguise and walked around the crowd that day, and went downtown."
Tarlton started promoting events in 1966 and produced thousands of shows featuring some of the biggest names in the business. He also established Aquarius Records and has served on many volunteer boards. He received the Order of Canada in 2000 and in 2007 received the Walt Grealis Special Achievement award from the Canadian music industry.
He says the music industry has changed a lot since the 1960s, when bands like The Who were known for destroying stages, equipment and hotel rooms. He says the music business is much more corporate now and money is much more important to everyone involved.
"But we still try to capture the magic moments of music. We still want fans to experience something that will be with them for the rest of their lives."
He says he doesn't want to create competition between Moncton and Halifax for the best venue, but says Moncton has put its money where its mouth is by putting resources and people into the show. And that's important because it helps promoters convince bands to come here and play, which in turn generates millions of dollars in economic spinoffs and tourism benefits to the region.
Tarlton says he's always looking ahead to the next year and what shows might come here, but won't lay his cards on the table by naming names.
He says rumours that Led Zeppelin would come here are totally unfounded, mainly because he doubts Zeppelin would actually go on tour. If they did, he would definitely to bring them to Canada, and Moncton if possible.
But there are many other acts out there who will be touring next year.
"We can't say who we're going after because other people might try to get them," he says.
"If you close your eyes and fantasize, and imagine who you would like to see on that stage, it will happen."

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