Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Sunset Junction - Is It Happening or Not?

I apologize for the lack of posts. Things have been too crazy lately to focus on live music. One thing I've been trying to follow is the Sunset Junction saga. On Monday, Buzz Bands reported that the permits were denied. But today, the LA Times is reporting that the money has been found, and the show may go on.

This year's lineup is strong. I'd definitely like to see Charles Bradley, the Ladies of Motown, Butthole Surfers, 400 Blows, The Soft Pack, Buddy and Bobby Womack.

One thing you can't deny is that the (once) small neighborhood festival has become a huge source of controversy. And one thing that would probably clear up all the controversy is if the festival organizers opened up their books. That prospect seems unlikely, so we're left with speculation and back of the envelope calculations - so let's give it a shot (if anybody has any real figures they want to share, please add them to the comments)....

VERY ROUGH ESTIMATES  [If you think I'm way off base, please comment, but make it thoughtful - or at least funny]

Attendance: 40,000 per day x 2 days = 80,000 (source - Echo Park Patch - estimate range 30 - 50k per day); assume only 80% pay = 64,000 @ $20 average cost per person = $1,280,000
Booth Revenue: 200 booths with average cost of $650 (source - Sunset Junction application) = $130,000
Corporate Sponsorships: $150,000 (no source, but if they're not getting that much out of Miller, Rocco's, Chrysler, Monster Energy, KROQ, Jack FM, Sierra Mist, etc. then they should hire a Business Development person)
Alcohol/Drink Sales: A lot of people sneak drinks in, but you've got to assume with 80,000 people there, you should be able to get an average ticket of at least $5 = $400,000
Carnival Tickets/Sales/Games: I couldn't even begin to guess what this is, let's be conservative and say they pay $40,000 to be there and operate all the games/rides
Total Revenues: $2,000,000

Production Costs (stages/sound): Five stages @ $50,000 each = $250,000 [I haven't put on a live event since 1996, so I'm not really sure]
Talent Fees (bands): 6 @ $15,000 + 15 @ $5,000 + 25 @ $1,000 + 40 @ $250 = $200,000 [no clue - I tried to look at the stature of all the bands on the bill and estimate what they might get paid]
Labor: Security (the police roaming police are covered in city fees)  / Door / Sound guys / Stage hands = 5 stages @ 10 people @ $300 + 200 door/roamers/beer sales people @ $300 = $75,000
Marketing: A lot seems to be media sponsors, but posters, PR firms cost money = $50,000
Insurance: $100,000 [I honestly have no clue - the carnival operator and each of the booths has its own insurance]
Portable Restrooms/Fence: $100,000
Lawyers/Professional Fees: $25,000
City Fees: $141,000
Alcohol Costs: $100,000 (Sponsors likely give them a break, so a 25% cost seems possible)
Total Costs: $1,041,000

Total amount available for community projects: $959,000

Did you follow my logic? Am I waaaay off base? Did I forget something? Let me know. I'd love to hear your thoughts.

1 comment:

ishouldbeking said...

Something tells me the top acts are getting paid MUCH more than 15k. I remember reading about a particular year of Coachella (maybe 5 or 6 years ago), where they had to ask performers to accept less than their standard festival fee, one of which was $250,000 (I think it was Beck). Sure, SJ is probably less, but probably substantially more than 15k. I doubt Lil Jon farts in a barrel for less than 30.

If there's a single most expensive part of Sunset Junction, I'd bet cash money it's performer fees.