No Juice At Jamz Fest

A last-minute decision to ban alcohol sales at a recent rap concert in Montgomery, Ala., has left organizers feuding with the city.

Bluewater Broadcasting partnered with the city to put on 97.9 WJWZ-FM’s Jamz Fest at the city-owned Riverwalk Amphitheatre June 17th.

The company had previously hosted country shows with the city at the amphitheatre. Bluewater GM Terry Barber told the Montgomery Advertiser the city allowed Bluewater the use of its liquor license and liability coverage for the country shows.

Tickets for the rap concert were priced low, at $9.79, because WJWZ expected liquor and concession sales to cover expenses. But the mayor’s office pulled the plug on liquor sales.

"Mayor [Bobby] Bright learned the city liquor license was being used without liquor liability insurance and/or trained bartenders and thought it would be in the best interest of the city to not allow this," executive assistant to the mayor Michael Briddell told the Advertiser.

The mayor hadn’t been aware of the deal with previous shows, and withdrew the use of the license prior to the Jamz Fest, Briddell said.

Barber told the paper there wasn’t time for Bluewater to acquire its own liquor license for the show and lost $30,000 in the deal.

"Had we known earlier, we could have sold tickets for around $20 and been all right or gotten our own liquor license," he said.

Although the show reportedly drew a large audience, Barber said it’s unclear whether Bluewater will continue hosting concerts there in the future.

"It’s not good business to keep losing money, and we wouldn’t under a different business model, but we’ve got to find better business partners," he said.

Pollstar’s attempts to reach Bluewater were unsuccessful at press time.