Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Promoters Attract More Musical Artists to Alaska Amid Weak National Economy
The Alaska State Fair and Moose’s Tooth have each attracted big name artists like Colbie Callait and Mos Def this summer.
No longer considered “that far away place,” Alaska has become a musical haven of sorts for big-time acts like Colbie Collait, Mos Def and OneRepublic.
Promoters and organizers for the Alaska State Fair and Moose's Tooth say the key to attracting top musicals acts is to create a great venue to showcase performers’ skills.
So, has the time come for Madison Square Garden to move over and make way for Alaska?
Not quite yet—but over the past several years, more musicians have brought their music and lyrics to the Last Frontier.
“Alaska, for a lot of us, hasn't been done. People think it’s so far away and you can't get there,” says Abdul Rahman, DJ and tour manager for hip hop artist Mos Def, “but once you get up there, you say, ‘oh, this is not far.’”
So why did it take so long to get big-name artists to Alaska?
“It really just takes someone to reach out from the area. Artists don't just look for venues to play,” explains Rahman.
Event promoters are taking advantage of a weak economy in the lower 48 to persuade acts to perform in Alaska.
“We have a pretty good reputation with the people who make those decisions to send somebody up here,” says Dean Phipps of the Alaska State Fair.
Heather Prunty, a promoter with Synapse Presents, says an offer has to be made to an act before the coordinating efforts can even begin.
“It’s personal…the artists, they talk if any of our friends ask we say, ‘yeah Alaska—it’s cool. Anchorage is cool’ and people will go,” says Rahman.
Dan Fiacco, general manager at Moose’s Tooth, says, “People love coming to see music and we love trying to bring all kinds of music up here.”