Bret Fest was designed as a two day event on a Thursday and Friday to bring together the community of Frankfort, IL at the beautiful venue, CD and ME. For the first night, we hosted has a local band called Hairbangers Ball perform a tribute to 80’s hairbands. The second night we brought Bret Michaels, the lead singer of Poison and reality television star to perform in front of 2,000 guests.
For this event, we were responsible for the following elements:
- Booking and negotiating the contract for both the local and celebrity talent. We worked with William Morris agency to secure Bret Michaels. We utilized our years of industry experience in booking celebrity talent to get the best deal possible, while working with Bret Michael’s management team to make accommodations to their production and hospitality rider in order to save our client money and produce the event within their defined budget parameters.
- Production – We procured the stage, lighting, sound and backline for the festival to meet the Artists rider and standards.
- Marketing and Advertising consulting – We worked with our client to develop a publicity plan for the event to sell approximately 2,000 tickets. We set up the venue as a Ticketmaster venue and helped them map out a seating plan. We worked with local papers and radio stations to produce ads and radio spots to promote the event. We worked with Bret Michaels to get him to do some voice over spots for these ads to use them on the radio. Having his voice on the spots helped keep our costs lower as the radio stations were excited to have the celebrity endorsement.
- Stage Management – We had our team onsite to manage the event. This included the load-in, sound check, VIP Pre-Party, performance and post show meet and greet.
The main objectives for the event were to host an event that brought the small community of Frankfort together and give them a performance by a national celebrity artist that they would normally have to travel to downtown Chicago to see. Events like these help create economic impact for these communities. This event brought in over 2,000 people to Frankfort where they would spend money within the economy and enjoy entertainment. Exposing these people to the venue creates recurring business into the future as our company produces more and more events at CD and ME.
This event was original because we centered the event around Bret Michaels and his love for his fans. We created the event with Bret Michaels to encompass elements that he wanted to include with his fan base and to help promote his various product lines. We made sure that products he endorsed all had placement throughout the event, including Snapple, Pet Smart and even had a place for fans to make donations to his Life Rocks foundation which helps benefit people with diabetes. We met with Bret personally to discuss all of these elements and to go over some custom logos with him. He was very kind and open and we truly enjoyed getting to interact one on one with him in creating this event.
The biggest challenge in with this event occurred about 4 months before the event. We had a radius clause which prohibited the Artist to play within a 75 mile radius 60 days before the event. We were asked by the Artist to make an exception for the Artist to perform at another fest 56 days before the event. We went through serious negotiations with the Artist, his management team and the other festival to secure another $10,000 in funding for our clients advertising efforts by allowing Bret Michaels to perform at this other event leading up to ours. In the end we did an analysis which we felt was beneficial to our client to allow the other play and use the additional $10,000 to purchase more advertising.
The execution of the event began with the negotiations of the contracts. Once this was secured, we established an advertising plan with our client. We then handled all of the show advances with Bret’s management team to secure the correct stage, sound, lighting and backline.
Finally on show day, we coordinated the venue set up with all of our vendors. Then we handled all of the logistics with load-in and sound check. These all went by without a hitch. We were extremely organized and thorough in our advance process which made everything flow smoothly. The doors opened at 6 PM for the VIP pre-party which gave 150 select guests a catered experience with plenty of adult beverages. At 7 PM the show began with 2 independent label artists opening. Their sets each lasted 45 minutes. Bret Michaels performed for 90 minutes, enticing the crowd with hit after hit from his catalog. After the show, Brett met with his fans at the VIP meet and greet. He made them all feel special, leaving them with a smile on their face. Coordinating a 50 person meet and greet is also challenging to make sure that it is organized. It must flow smoothly and the artist must feel safe. We accomplished all of this on Bret’s behalf.
In the end, our client was thrilled with the final outcome. The event was profitable and the community had a night to remember as Bret Michaels lit up this small town.