OCCA provides deposit for Airplane concert
Permits also obtained; beverage sponsorships sought to help cover costs
The Jefferson Airplane reunion concert danced two steps closer to reality last week, when the Colorado Springs Police OK'd the necessary permits and the Old
Colorado City Associates (OCCA) merchants group sent the band a $5,000 deposit to secure the planned May 6 date.
The OCCA board approval did not come easily. Concert planner Charlie Cagiao - who is also an Old Town merchant and board member - had to convince the other members during two meetings over about three hours that the free concert on Colorado Avenue could be an attractor for the historic shopping district and potentially make a profit for OCCA.
Total costs, including another $5,000 band payment and costs for extra police, could reach $30,000, but Cagiao believes this can be made back during the 8 ½ -hour event, chiefly from beer and and soft drink sales.
After sets by support bands starting at noon, plans call for the Jefferson Airplane, a popular 1960s band, to play a three-hour set starting at 5:30 p.m. The band is to set up on a stage a short distance east of the 27th Street and Colorado Avenue intersection.
Because the stage will be covered, the bands will play rain or shine, said Cagiao, a former rock musician and music promoter.
City Police have issued a revocable special event permit that allows Colorado Avenue to be shut down between 24th and 27th streets from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. May 6. The permit includes wording that the concert must be over at 8:30 p.m., according to Sgt. Robert Weber, who coordinates such events for the police.
Weber estimated that 12 to 15 police officers will be present, including two at the planned beer garden at 25th Street and Colorado Avenue. But he said he doesn't expect much trouble. “Most Airplane fans are my age or older,” he said. “They're not going to get too rowdy, I guess.”
Also granted by police was a “noise hardship” permit, allowing amplified music that exceeds the normal decibels for that location, Weber said.
The OCCA appropriation allows Cagiao now to start talking to beer and soft drink companies. He said his expectation is that in exchange for sponsorship, the companies will provide a considerable amount of free product. The merchants can then sell the beverages during the concert, keeping all the proceeds.
Nancy Stovall, OCCA board member and executive director, said the merchants group likes the idea, but is “proceeding cautiously,” mindful of its relatively small bankroll. “If the concert happens the way it's laid out, it could be very good for Old Colorado City, financially and in terms of exposure,” she said. “But we don't want to be tied down for huge expenses until we have sponsorships in writing.”
Cagiao said he is taking a letter around to each of the merchants, to explain the plan and to listen to their concerns. He thinks if the Airplane concert is a success, he can bring in nationally known bands on a regular basis during summer months to play outdoors in Old Colorado City.
Westside Pioneer article