Clainos Tapped To Consult On BGP

The city of Concord, Calif., has hired former Bill Graham Presents co-president Nicholas Clainos and his company, Tonic Entertainment, as a consultant to help it either shop around for a new promoter for the 12,500-capacity Chronicle Pavilion or renegotiate its current deal with BGP.

The $35,000 consulting contract with Clainos, who reportedly negotiated on behalf of BGP when the company made its original profit-sharing deal with the city, was unanimously approved at a city council meeting November 22nd.

Clainos did not return a call to Pollstar for comment at press time.

The current management contract between the city and promoter runs out December 31, 2006. However, BGP may exercise four five-year options to continue to manage the Chronicle Pavilion “if they are meeting the conditions of the agreement,” according to city documents.

Concord officials are concerned about the shed’s viability in the wake of two consecutive shaky seasons. BGP took over operation of the pavilion in 2000 and turned a profit there every year until losing almost $1 million in 2004, according to city documents. BGP estimates the shed will “generate a light improvement; however, it is possible that another loss will occur.”

A clause in the contract provides for BGP to recoup its losses over several years before paying proceeds to the city of Concord.

Of special concern to the city is continued funding of public events that are held at the Chronicle Pavilion in addition to the usual concerts. Those include performing arts events, the California Symphony’s annual Pops in the Plaza concert and a jazz festival.

“They have done a very good job of maintaining the Pavilion and presenting events,” Concord Assistant City Manager Mark Deven told the Contra Costa Times. “Or concern is with the volatility of the entire live entertainment industry.”

The possibility of a second consecutive season ending in the red reportedly caused BGP to request an extension of the deadline to notify the city of its intention to exercise its option. The city approved the extension from June 30th to September 30th.

BGP President Lee Smith presented a summary of proposed modifications to the terms and conditions of the agreement for the first five-year option on September 28th.

Concord officials decided that, given the industry climate, “the engagement of a well-qualified consultant is necessary to assist the city in evaluating BGP’s proposed terms, advising negotiations with BGP or seeking alternative operators for the Pavilion.”

The uncertainty about BGP’s future at the Chronicle Pavilion comes at a time when the company is already embroiled in a nasty lawsuit with the city of Mountain View, Calif., over revenues at Shoreline Amphitheatre. Plus, BGP is losing its lease on the legendary Warfield Theatre in San Francisco, now known as the SF Weekly Warfield.

A suit has also been filed by the Warfield’s owner because of BGP’s naming rights deal with a local weekly newspaper in the waning years of its lease on the building.