A Dollar Too Far

A $6 million amphitheatre in Oshkosh, Wis., is being sodded and readied for its first season while the city considers a $1 facility fee – much to the chagrin of promoters.

PMI has signed a facility management agreement with the City of Oshkosh through 2009 and the shed, inside Riverside Park, will be the site of the city’s 20-year-old nonprofit Waterfest concert series, which is promoted by another organization.

Neither promoter wants the $1 ticket fee, which the city would need to introduce through a separate ordinance, probably in May. The fee would be tacked on to tickets priced $7 or more and be used for shed maintenance.

“In general, we really want the city to reconsider, especially on low-cost events and nonprofit groups,” PMI Chief Administrative Officer Brendan Bruss told Pollstar. “But our main point was we’d prefer, especially when we’re running late this first year, that we’d let the venue take a year and see what it actually produces.”

Then they could evaluate an appropriate facility fee for the 8,000-capacity shed, if any, Bruss said.

“Waterfest has already done a lot of their booking and they’re nonprofit … They didn’t plan on that dollar this year,” he said.

PMI would be responsible for tacking the facility fee on to its tickets, then remitting the money to the city.

The promoter expects to book a variety of shows into the amphitheatre this summer, although it is admittedly behind the 8-ball for national touring acts because of the late start.

The season is expected to begin in mid-June. PMI is required to pay the city $30,000 annually or 10 percent of gross revenue, whichever is greater, according to the city’s Northwestern newspaper.