Promoting Freedom

Hillside Productions and Palace Sports & Entertainment Inc. have entered into a cooperative booking and marketing agreement for the Jerome-Duncan Ford Theatre at Freedom Hill in Sterling Heights, Mich.

Having the two companies working together rather than competing for shows could have the added benefit of reducing ticket prices by eliminating bidding wars in the region for shed shows.

PSE owns DTE Energy Music Theatre and The Palace Of Auburn Hills, and runs the Meadow Brook Music Festival at Oakland University outside of Detroit.

The move gives the company an interest in the Detroit market’s three largest sheds: DTE Energy Music Theatre (15,000 capacity), Meadow Brook and Freedom Hill (both with 7,000).

The agreement provides for PSE and Hillside to handle all event bookings, marketing, season sales, group sales, sponsorships and public relations for the shed.

“We are very pleased to be working with Hillside, and are looking to extend the many successes we have achieved at our other venues to the Jerome-Duncan Ford Theatre at Freedom Hill,” PSE president/CEO Tom Wilson said.

“With its many significant enhancements in recent years, it is essentially a brand new facility. Combining this with all the services and amenities people have grown to expect over the years at our venues, we are looking to take the experience to a new level.”

The Jerome-Duncan Ford Theatre is undergoing a facelift, courtesy of a $31 million harassment settlement paid by the city of Sterling Heights. The most noticeable improvement will be a pavilion roof to cover the seated area of the venue and mitigate noise concerns.

The improvements are expected to be completed in time for a June opening at Freedom Hill, which expects to host 30 to 40 shows this season