[Dixielandjazz] Bark's Jazz Fest

Stephen Barbone barbonestreet at earthlink.net
Fri Feb 7 19:03:21 PST 2003

Talk about a city getting behind a Jazz Festival , Reading does an
incredible job during this 10 day extravaganza. Note the following clip
from their weekly e mail newsletter to supporters.

"3. Veasley To Play National Anthem At Royals Game; Shirt Auction Set
Berks Jazz Fest Night at the Reading Royals will get started with
bassist Gerald Veasley playing the national anthem. The Reading Royals,
of the East Coast Hockey League, will face off against the Trenton
Titans, Friday, March 21, 7:05 p.m. at the Sovereign Center in Reading.
Last year, Veasley provided an
incredible rendition of the anthem on the electric bass from center ice.
For more information on the Royals, check out www.royalshockey.com
(Note, the 21st is the start of the festival)"

"The Reading Royals will be wearing special jazz-themed jerseys during
the game, which will be auctioned off during the second annual "Reading
Royals Hockey Party & Jersey Auction" set for Monday, March 24, at the
Lincoln Plaza Hotel ballroom. The evening features music by Bunchafunk
with Reggie Brown The Royals players will be at the Lincoln to
personally autograph the jerseys for the top bidders. It's your chance
to own a piece of sports history and to help kick off an exciting week
of music. All
proceeds benefit the Berks Arts Council. Registration for bidding starts
at 6:15 p.m.; music starts at 7:30 p.m.; and the auction starts at 8:15
p.m. After the auction, there will be more music from Bunchafunk

It seems as if everyone in Reading gets behind this Festival. The local
Hockey Team, The Radio Stations, The local TV Station, The Local
Newspaper, The Reading Symphony, The Reading Pops, Many of the Local
Businesses. The hype starts January 1 and continues for 2 and a half
months. It is fascinating to see the amount of media hype, business
hype, etc., that goes into this event. There is a lesson on how to
organize a major impact festival here. One that is growing by leaps and
bounds while many others starve. As I said before, 36 headliners with
ticket prices from $28 to $55 per show and about 65 other bands during
the 10 days at various prices.

Venues range from the Sovereign  Center (Hockey Arena and Concert Hall)
to College Auditoriums to Hotels and Country Clubs to small Clubs, Bars
and Restaurants all over the area.

Not bad for a city of 85,000 people in a county of 390,000 people. Puts
a lot of festivals all over the world to shame. This is their 13th year.
Info at http://www.berksjazzfest.com

Steve Barbone

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