9/7/06 JAS Attendance Down Due to Lineup

Not So Good News For JAS
by sweetpea

With great weather over the picturesque mountain setting, this years Jazz Aspen Snowmass (JAS) wasn't exactly a blockbuster and certainly didn't break any attendance records.

Festival organisers had stayed optimistic with this years lineup despite discouraging comments flooding in from past festival goers over the change in the "genres" of music presented.

A few weeks before JAS, a Snowmass resident wrote a letter to the local newspapers, declaring that he planned to skip the Jazz Aspen Snowmass Labor Day Festival because he was unimpressed with its lineup. The resident offered his bold prediction: the festival would set a record for low attendance.

Many were looking for the type of performances which made the festival successful in prior years including such acts as Widespread Panic.

Last year's Labor Day weekend festival in Snowmass attracted 31,900 over the five-day event, falling shy of the previous year's record attendance of nearly 34,000. A combined 17,400 people went to see Widespread Panic, with 10,200 of those attending the second show, held on Friday.

About one-third fewer people attended the weekend long event with the Sunday show featuring Don Henley being this year's top draw at 7,200 tickets sold. The festival drew 21,500 over the four days.

The Aspen Times News Editorial wrote, "We're not sure why the Jazz Aspen Snowmass ended up with such an unorthodox, eclectic group of musical performers."
Indeed those in attendance were met with a widely mixed group ranging from the smooth traditional country stylings of LeAnn Rimes to the urban rap beats of Kayne West.

Jim Horowitz, the festival's executive director had said "we've made a concerted effort to try to keep our lineups fresh." Horowitz was fully aware of the chances of disaster with the hodgepodge lineup stating, "Booking that kind of lineup is a risk."
Horowitz claimed he made decisions based, in part, on receiving feedback that the festival was getting too staid.

Other performers this year included Susan Tedeschi, Robert Randolph & the Family Band, and Los Lonely Boys. Horowitz said that negative sentiments he had received had been matched with an equal rush of praise. He went on to say, "But weather will trump everything." Unfortunately for Horowitz, the festival was met with great weather.

When local residents write to local newspapers saying "This year I'm going to see Gov't Mule at Red Rocks instead" and with the realization of other residents low attendance predictions it's highly possible to see a swift shift back to what some considered "staid" and others consider a successful formula.

Why Do You Feel JAS Attendence Was Down?
Why Do You Feel JAS Attendence Was Down?
Lack of past musical acts like Widespread Panic
Too eclectic of musical genres
JAS is a mood festival and should include bands that respresent that mood
The departure of improvisational/jam type musical performers
Bad choices of performers - plain and simple