The real, but too-long headline, should read “Behind the Scenes of Trying to Put on a Concert in Augusta.” And even then, it is a little deceiving, because I should specify a “non-country” concert in Augusta. Putting a country concert on in Augusta, I suspect, goes something like this: Schedule absolutely any country artist ever and it sells out. Well, at least that’s the way it seems. Country music is so big in Augusta, even other non-specific music events have become mostly country music events. Hey, I’m not hating. It’s good business: Give the people what they want.
However, programming a Top 40 radio station, I often hear that people want other shows too and they want them bad. So, when I was given the reins of HD98.3, putting on a pop concert was at the top of my list of priorities. Seems easy enough. I talk to the major record labels regularly, we can support the shows and we’re passionate about it. But, as it turns out, that’s not enough. That’s not nearly enough!
There have been many attempts at this concert that never came to fruition. No matter the artist that we discussed, there have been so many obstacles: Scheduling, funding, lack of interest and mostly lack of ticket sales.
It’s a common phrase thrown around in Augusta concert promotion: “Augusta is a walk-up town,” meaning “citizens of Augusta all wait until the last minute to buy tickets.” It’s the weirdest trait for a town to have, in my opinion. I get towns that are known for being overly courteous or very welcoming to tourists, but our thing is to collectively wait until the last minute to buy tickets to pretty much everything. How we all as a group of 200,000 citizens (500,000 in the region) decided, “Eh, I’ll just wait until the day of the show to buy tickets” is beyond me.
This is not to say everyone waits. There is a small percentage of people who get early tickets and y’all will never know just how much that is appreciated! Alas, this is the world, or town, rather, that we live in. The thing is, that’s what many promoters look at when deciding which, if any, acts to bring to any town: What is the early ticket sales average. Sadly, for Augusta, it’s not many. This is the difference between Augusta getting concerts from the likes of a Selena Gomez or a Carly Rae Jepsen.
All this aside, we finally pulled the trigger on a concert that we felt would be a great start to a new genre of concert in Augusta: Daya. She’s a new artist who’s all over the place in 2016. I call her 2016’s Lorde. She’s on the current No. 1 pop radio song in America. So, we’re really excited that she’s coming and we hope you are, too.
2016 has been big for Daya, She’s had a bonafide hit in her debut single “Hideaway,” and she’s also got the current No. 1 and another hit on the way. Her third single, “Sit Still, Look Pretty,” which Daya says is about “empowering girls to feel good about themselves and know that they can do anything a guy can do,” is currently No. 22 and climbing. Allmusic.com described her as Lorde meets Katy Perry and she’ll be here, at the Bell Auditorium, this Saturday.
No, she ain’t T-Swizzle. But, she’s got a great start to a new career and what I hope is a great start to some more new music concerts coming to Augusta. Tickets sales are trickling in, they’re cheap, it’s a Saturday night and it’s going to be a lot of fun. I hope to see you there! I also hope that this is the beginning of many more shows to come.