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Promoters plan to organize summer concerts at Starlight Bowl

Promoters plan to organize summer concerts at Starlight Bowl
Concert promoters Sterling Venue Ventures, Teragram and LA Concert Group hope to work with Burbank to put on up to 21 concerts at the Starlight Bowl during the summer of 2019. (File Photo)

Burbank may be working with several concert promoters to bring more events to the Starlight Bowl this summer.

City Council and city staff discussed during a Dec. 11 meeting the possibility of having up to 21 shows at the outdoor venue located up in the Verdugo Hills, in which promoter Sterling Venue Ventures has proposed to schedule up to 11 of those concerts, said Judie Wilke, Burbank’s parks and recreation director.

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The city also received proposals from L.A. Concert Group and Teragram to organize another three concerts. Meanwhile, Burbank will be overseeing the annual Fourth of July concert and the five shows during its Summer Concert Series, Wilke said.

According to a staff report, Sterling has proposed to pay the city $10,000 per show to rent out the Starlight Bowl. Additionally, the promoter would cover any expenses toward city services, including public safety and city staff assistance.

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Sterling would also be responsible for booking the talent, ticketing, promotion, event labor, music licensing, insurance and security.

“Staff believes this partnership is an ideal way to test more programming in a turnkey fashion and see how the neighborhood and community respond,” Wilke said. “Opportunities to partner with experienced operators will provide staff and the council with firsthand working knowledge and real-time experience of operating the Starlight Bowl under different business models.”

Lance Sterling, owner of Sterling Venue Ventures, told council members he puts on about 1,700 shows a year in the state at several venues he owns, including the Canyon in Agoura Hills, the Rose in Pasadena and the Canyon in Santa Clarita.

He also manages concerts held at the Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills and produces shows at the Libbey Bowl in Ojai, an outdoor venue similar to the Starlight Bowl.

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Some of the bands and artists Sterling has booked in the past include Boyz II Men, Styx, Gordon Lightfoot, America, the B-52s, Stone Temple Pilots, Air Supply, the Doobie Brothers, Chicago and the Alan Parsons Project.

“I think this is an opportunity,” Mayor Emily Gabel-Luddy said. “Maybe we can get all these events for [2019] or maybe not, but the events that he’s identified sound like a good fit for our community.”

However, Vice Mayor Sharon Springer had concerns about having so many possible shows at the venue and not telling the surrounding neighborhood.

“I feel like it’s appropriate to notify the residents there because the [number of] shows are going up,” Springer said.

City Manager Ron Davis explained the purpose of the partnerships with the promoters is to see how the neighborhood and community react to having more events at the Starlight Bowl so the city can determine whether the plan should be pursued in the future.

“We don’t want to generate interest, we want to test it,” Davis said. “It almost defeats the purpose to try and elevate awareness. We’d like to see if we’re managing traffic well, if we’re disturbing [residents] or whatever feedback we get. I’m usually into [communicating with the public], but this time maybe we test it and see what we learn.”

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