BRECKENRIDGE - Set on bringing bigger and better bands and artists to the Riverwalk this summer, the Breckenridge Town Council approved a $50,000 partnership with the Breckenridge Music Festival to entice big talent to a small town.
The BMF, host of the popular-music Blue River Series, asked the town to provide a financial backstop to help negotiate more lucrative contracts with headline acts this summer.
Seeing music as a potential economic driver, the council unanimously agreed, promising to put up $30,000-$50,000 this summer to help attract big-name talent to Breckenridge.
"What we're trying to do is enhance the Blue River Series so we see bigger numbers, more people coming to town and perhaps going out to dinner, perhaps spending the night," Mayor John Warner said.
The Blue River Series is a summer-long succession of concerts and shows, which in the past has featured performers ranging from fiddler Natalie MacMaster to the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and Los Lonely Boys.
The BMF, an independent orchestra and anchor tenant of the Riverwalk Center, puts on the series every year to round out their own classical offerings at the facility.
Currently, the BMF books musicians with the lowest possible cost and ends up turning over to them the better part of any profits generated by the concert. Financial backing from the town will mean, this summer, booking higher-cost talent and keeping more of the return in Breckenridge.
"There's more risk, but there's also more reward," BMF board member Dick Sosville said.
The nonprofit BMF currently has a $10,000 price tag limit on bands. The town will provide additional cash to cover the risk of financial loss in the event the show doesn't generate sufficient revenue. Profits from concerts will be shared between the town and the BMF.
Talent in the $15,000 - $25,000 range includes One Republic, Railroad Earth, Leanne Rimes, Indigo Girls, Mary Chapin Carpenter and Alison Krauss. With $25,000 - $35,000 to spend on the Show, BMF representatives indicated it would be possible to book The B-52s, Charlie Daniels Band, Colbie Caillat or Kenny G to play the Riverwalk Center.
Town Council members said they were ready to back the partnership in 2013 as a trial with the goal of booking three big shows.
"I think we should walk before we run with this," Councilman Mike Dudick said. "Let's try this experiment in summer 2013 and reevaluate when the dust settles."