Charity Concert’s A Bust

A Fresno, Calif., police captain who organized an October 1st concert at the city’s Grizzlies Stadium said he is ultimately responsible for the fund-raiser’s $100,000 failure.

The all-day Fresno March for Peace Concert – featuring Christian and non-Christian acts including Carman, The Gap Band, and O.C. Supertones – was coordinated by the Fresno Police Chief’s Foundation and headed by Capt. Greg Garner. He said organizers hoped 5,000 to 7,000 people would attend but only about 2,000 tickets were sold at $20 to $40 a pop.

Garner said several things may have caused the concert’s failure, including a sold-out Green Day gig at Fresno’s 16,000-capacity Save Mart Center that day.

“There’s a number of theories; if I knew exactly, we probably would’ve filled the stands,” he told Pollstar.

The idea behind the concert was to raise money to replace funds that the nonprofit Chief’s Foundation received through a federal grant, Garner said. The grant will expire in about 18 months.

The event ultimately bankrupted the Chief’s Foundation, which put up $100,000 to produce the show. Half of that money was borrowed from Fresno County’s United Way charity, which will not take action to demand the funds be repaid, according to the Fresno Bee.

When asked if he and his team had any experience in putting on a concert, Garner was vague.

“There wasn’t just one person working on this; there was a committee,” he said. “Each one of us had a different role. There were people with a lot of experience and there were also a lot with no experience.”

He wouldn’t offer specifics on the show’s budget.

Meanwhile, Grizzlies Stadium reps said their only involvement in the event was providing the venue.

“I’m not sure why it didn’t go like they expected,” the stadium’s Andrew Bragman told Pollstar. “It seemed like they had a pretty solid number of performers and a good setup. I don’t know if it was their first time doing it and that’s why it happened.”

Mitchell Peters