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Jazz Fest reports improved attendance after move

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Indy Jazz Fest saw attendance surge this year despite a move to a smaller venue.

Attendance at this year's festival, which ran Sept. 12-17, was 5,050, up 20 percent over last year, promoter Al Hall said.

"We consider the Jazz Fest to be a huge success both artistically and for the fans that attended," said Hall, owner of Owl Studios LLC and one of three local businessmen who took over the 12-year-old festival from the American Pianists Association in 2009.

The festival has seen ups and downs in attendance over the years. After a year at White River State Park, Hall and his partners moved the main event to the much smaller Opti-Park in Broad Ripple. That's where George Benson headlined the main stage on Sept. 17. The festival included other acts at venues around the city in the week leading up to Saturday's outdoor concert.

Hall said this year's attendance benefitted from clear weather and the addition of two side stages.

The festival should end up in the black, Hall said, though he declined to disclose revenue.

Hall added that the festival has become a year-round, not-for-profit endeavor. Indy Jazz Fest will sponsor the Ball State Jazz Fest, which includes 40 high school bands, and collaborate with Indianapolis Public Schools and other area schools in the spring. The organization also will participate in a Dec. 21 birthday celebration for David Baker, chair of jazz studies at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University.

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  1. If I were a developer I would be looking at the Fountain Square and Fletcher Place neighborhoods instead of Broad Ripple. I would avoid the dysfunctional BRVA with all of their headaches. It's like deciding between a Blackberry or an iPhone 5s smartphone. BR is greatly in need of updates. It has become stale and outdated. Whereas Fountain Square, Fletcher Place and Mass Ave have become the "new" Broad Ripples. Every time I see people on the strip in BR on the weekend I want to ask them, "How is it you are not familiar with Fountain Square or Mass Ave? You have choices and you choose BR?" Long vacant storefronts like the old Scholar's Inn Bake House and ZA, both on prominent corners, hurt the village's image. Many business on the strip could use updated facades. Cigarette butt covered sidewalks and graffiti covered walls don't help either. The whole strip just looks like it needs to be power washed. I know there is more to the BRV than the 700-1100 blocks of Broad Ripple Ave, but that is what people see when they think of BR. It will always be a nice place live, but is quickly becoming a not-so-nice place to visit.

  2. I sure hope so and would gladly join a law suit against them. They flat out rob people and their little punk scam artist telephone losers actually enjoy it. I would love to run into one of them some day!!

  3. Biggest scam ever!! Took 307 out of my bank ac count. Never received a single call! They prey on new small business and flat out rob them! Do not sign up with these thieves. I filed a complaint with the ftc. I suggest doing the same ic they robbed you too.

  4. Woohoo! We're #200!!! Absolutely disgusting. Bring on the congestion. Indianapolis NEEDS it.

  5. So Westfield invested about $30M in developing Grand Park and attendance to date is good enough that local hotel can't meet the demand. Carmel invested $180M in the Palladium - which generates zero hotel demand for its casino acts. Which Mayor made the better decision?

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