Too Much Funtime In Buffalo?

A Buffalo, N.Y., promoter who books his own shows as well as those for the city’s “Thursday at the Harbor” and “Buffalo Place Rocks the Harbor” concert series is under scrutiny for booking a competing concert at another venue.

At issue is a concert with Flogging Molly and Lowest of the Low both booked by promoter Funtime at the Outer Harbor Aug. 2. Directors of Buffalo Place question whether Funtime is favoring its own self-produced shows over those the company books for the waterfront venues, according to Buffalo’s WKBW-TV.

“Who are their loyalties to? Us or them?” Buffalo Place Director Rocco Termini asked the station. “Are they competing with us?”

Buffalo Place has yet to release its 2013 concert schedule, but has in the past staged free Thursday concerts and ticketed “Rocks the Harbor” shows on weekends. The Flogging Molly show produced by Funtime is on a Friday.

The Buffalo Place concerts average 18 shows per season, reportedly draw more than 200,000 to Buffalo’s Central Wharf and are a major fundraiser for the organization.

Funtime has brought artists including LL Cool J, J. Geils Band, Tragically Hip, Elvis Costello, and Great Big Sea to the summer series in previous seasons. The company also books shows at the Outer Harbor, Town Ballroom, Artpark and at the University of Buffalo Center for the Arts.

Not all Buffalo Place directors agree the Flogging Molly booking is a conflict, however, citing the band’s touring schedule and its own relationship with Funtime owners Artie Kwitchoff and Donny Kutzbach.

Buffalo Place President Anthony Colucci told the station he has talked with the pair about their non-Buffalo Place bookings. He pointed out that band routings and other factors don’t always favor the weekend series, but Funtime is still able to bring name artists to town.

“I had a very serious discussion with them,” Collucci said. “I am comfortable with the bookings,” adding he doesn’t feel there is a question of the company’s “loyalty” to Buffalo Place.