Stan Katz: Not enough Guitar Town coverage
The SDN is supposed to be the newspaper for the entire county. As such, I was very disappointed in the coverage of one of the county’s premier summer events, the multi-day Guitar Town festival at Copper Mountain this past weekend. Some of the world’s greatest guitarists, including such notables as Richard Thompson, Sonny Landreth, Albert Lee, and John Jorgenson, performed for free on Saturday and Sunday (at the same time Denver was having its Mile High Festival at mile-high prices), and also ran free workshops. Yet despite this unbelievable collection of talent, it was difficult to find any mention of it in the SDN, either before it began or after it was over. The simple insert advertisement is not enough; there should have been several feature articles about the performers in the days leading up to the event.
I don’t know whether this unfortunate lack of publicity is due to an anti-Copper bias on the part of SDN, or whether the Copper Village group dropped the ball on getting the word out. But too many people in Summit County this past week, both locals and visitors on summer vacations, simply had no idea that an event of this magnitude was taking place. As a county which relies on tourism to generate revenues for its businesses, the lack of publicity for Guitar Town seems unconscionable.
A telling point was when the emcee asked the audience “how many of you were here last year” and almost three quarters of the audience raised their hands. To me, this indicates that most of the attendees already knew about the event from last year, and that few newcomers were enticed to come to Copper for the shows. And with almost no after-event coverage of Guitar Town in the past few days, it is unlikely that others will say “darn, I missed something really good, I’ll keep this in mind for next year.”
Guitar Town and Copper Country (Sept. 4-5) are events easily comparable to Breckenridge’s Oktoberfest, and have the potential to have considerable effect on the county’s economy. Failing to properly publicize these two events does a major disservice to the businesses in the county, and someone should be taken to task for it. Publicity is generally inexpensive, and usually produces results far in excess of its cost. Guitar Town this year was a truly wonderful event, with reasonably good attendance, but it could have had a lot more people if the general population, both in and out of Summit County, had known about it more than one day in advance.
Editor’s note: Guitar Town was featured on the cover of Friday’s Scene section.
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