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Jazz festival will move to OptiPark in Broad Ripple

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On The Beat Industry News In Brief

The ever-evolving Indy Jazz Fest will return this year, Sept. 18, but at the Opti-Park in Broad Ripple.

In late 2008, local jazz pros Al Hall, David Allee and Rob Dixon took over the flagging 10-year-old festival from the American Pianists Association and ran it as a for-profit enterprise under Indy Jazz Fest LLC.

Well, the event isn’t profitable yet, but Hall and his partners aren’t giving up.
 

OTB arts Last year the Indy Jazz Fest attracted 10,000 fans to White River State Park. (IBJ File Photo)

“It’s more of an obligation than it is anything else,” he said.

The major change this year is moving from The Lawn at White River State Park, a venue run by Live Nation. Cutting down venue-management fees could help the festival break even, Hall said.

Attendance over the two-day festival last year was less than 10,000, he said. The festival’s local organizing committee hopes to exceed 10,000 this year, though Hall said they haven’t decided yet whether to add a second day.

Owner of the Owl Studios record label, Hall tried last year to keep the lineup pure with Branford Marsalis as the headliner. Now he’s on the hunt for a name that will boost attendance.

“We’re looking for a household name that hopefully will cross over from jazz into other areas,” he said.
 

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  • Real Jazz Artist
    We have a huge assortment of "real, talented" jazz artist - that have not been exposed! We seem to always keep it "safe" and select the same artist...I know when I was at the Chatterbox a couple weeks ago for open mike there were some amazing artist... Who choses the selections for Jazz Fest? Do they step outside the box or go with old reliable.... I have listened to Jerrell Smith another local artist amazing .....and Jason Curry....I guess that is why Jason Curry left Indy....
  • Don't water down the JAZZ!
    Here's hoping your move to the Broad Ripple area park will be successful WITHOUT watering down the JAZZ theme. My husband and I make it a point to visit jazz festivals and we are not looking for top 40, pop, blues or funk acts.
    Something to consider: People don't want hassles when they attend this kind of event. We have enjoyed festivals that were free/low cost, but each act underwritten by a local business. Often, art fairs were coupled with the music fest in order to fund a portion of the fest. Those events were fun because they were "laid-back," and exposed us to JAZZ artists we might never have seen. We would travel to Indy from Evansville even if you used all Indiana jazz artists (Hey--there's an angle!), so long as we saw great jazz.
  • Keep it going - keep it JAZZ
    Get some decent beers and wines in addition to the norm. Upscale the offering and charge for it. Not the best choices for an eclectic crowd.
  • I'm with Ben
    I know you've got to at least break even, but please keep it a jazz fest. John Legend may well be a wonderful entertainer, but he isn't jazz.
  • think about it
    please be careful when choosing other big names...please think of the jazz fest audience and not about the dollars...please dont pick a waining pop-star or lifeless entertainer...go avant and get thousands of hipsters spending their money = godspeedyoublackemperor.
  • Good move
    Much rather go to Broad Ripple than downtown. Downtown has no character.

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  1. The east side does have potential...and I have always thought Washington Scare should become an outlet mall. Anyone remember how popular Eastgate was? Well, Indy has no outlet malls, we have to go to Edinburgh for the deep discounts and I don't understand why. Jim is right. We need a few good eastsiders interested in actually making some noise and trying to change the commerce, culture and stereotypes of the East side. Irvington is very progressive and making great strides, why can't the far east side ride on their coat tails to make some changes?

  2. Boston.com has an article from 2010 where they talk about how Interactions moved to Massachusetts in the year prior. http://www.boston.com/business/technology/innoeco/2010/07/interactions_banks_63_million.html The article includes a link back to that Inside Indiana Business press release I linked to earlier, snarkily noting, "Guess this 2006 plan to create 200-plus new jobs in Indiana didn't exactly work out."

  3. I live on the east side and I have read all your comments. a local paper just did an article on Washington square mall with just as many comments and concerns. I am not sure if they are still around, but there was an east side coalition with good intentions to do good things on the east side. And there is a facebook post that called my eastside indy with many old members of the eastside who voice concerns about the east side of the city. We need to come together and not just complain and moan, but come up with actual concrete solutions, because what Dal said is very very true- the eastside could be a goldmine in the right hands. But if anyone is going damn, and change things, it is us eastside residents

  4. Please go back re-read your economics text book and the fine print on the February 2014 CBO report. A minimum wage increase has never resulted in a net job loss...

  5. The GOP at the Statehouse is more interested in PR to keep their majority, than using it to get anything good actually done. The State continues its downward spiral.

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