City Stages Taps Messina Group

City Stages organizers in Birmingham, Ala., have hired AEG Live / The Messina Group in Nashville to help boost attendance and add to the entertainment lineup.

City Stages Executive Director Denise Lovoy Koch told the Birmingham News the company is contracted for one year to book talent and help produce the June event with an option for two more years.

Ali Harnell, AEG Live / The Messina Group senior VP, said the company is more than ready for the task.

“I know the challenges of booking such a big extravaganza,” Harnell told the News. “At times like these, people want to get out and hear music. And City Stages is such a great value.”

Harnell added that “classic rock, urban, R&B and ’tween stuff for kids” are a few of the genres she will target for the festival. She could not be reached for further comment.

City Stages previously worked with Tennessee-based AC Entertainment but the partnership mutually ended after last year’s festival, Koch said.

The festival has dealt with low ticket sales for a few years and is estimated to be about $400,000 in debt after 2008’s loss of about $168,000.

The lineup for the June 19-21 City Stages is expected to be announced in March.