‘Blowout’ whips up music fans despite bad weather

By Ian Perrotta

Some people called it the “Snowout” on Saturday night, but according to the books the 14th annual Hamtramck Blowout was a rocking success.

While the exact attendance figures are still unavailable, in terms of ticket sales this year’s event looks to have been the best ever. And the news only gets better – despite earlier reports to the contrary, event coordinator Eve Doster Knepp has decided to return next year to do it all again.

A number of things helped contribute to the success of this year’s Blowout. Additional presale locations were added to accommodate demand, and tighter security helped curtail underage drinking and prevent fights from happening.

“Everything turned out better than expected, and all-in-all everything was up,” said Doster.”We could not be happier.”

It may have been mostly smooth sailing, but that didn’t mean there weren’t some rocky waters to overcome. Thanks to the diligent work of utility crews, a potential crisis was diverted when a show-stopping power outage was quickly repaired on Saturday afternoon.

Unfortunately, nothing could be done about the snow, which – along with overpriced tickets, according to New Dodge Lounge bar owner Cathie Gordon – contributed to a below-average Saturday night.

“Attendance was down this year,” said Gordon. “It’s going to have to be revamped — $20-$25 charge is too much. It really doesn’t leave them (customers) any money to drink with. How many young people have that kind of money?”

Gordon also questioned how the Metro Times (the publication that sponsors the Blowout) spends the money it makes by throwing the event. She said that the cost of providing PA systems has gotten too high for the weekend to be really profitable and wondered if it would be possible for Metro Times to help defray some costs. However, Doster explained that the Blowout is not primarily a money-making venture and said that most revenue goes toward putting everything on.

“It’s more about the music than the money,” said Doster. “It’s the Metro Times’ way of kind of giving back.”

One Response to ‘Blowout’ whips up music fans despite bad weather

  1. Eve Doster

    March 12, 2011 at 11:22 am

    Normally, I do not respond to this sort of misinformation, because more often than not, it only further confuses the topic. However, there is so much misleading information in Cathie Gordon’s quotes, I feel the need to speak up.

    1. Attendance: attendance was not down this year.

    2. Cost of Attendance: The Metro Times has not raised the price of Blowout tickets since it started in 1997. The MT *wants* people to only pay $20, which is why pre-sale tickets were pushed strongly this year. Pre-sale tickets were available for $20, several weeks before the event (and also online at metrotimes.com) at several small businesses in suburbs like Royal Oak and Birmingham and also at the Pre-Party on Wednesday, March 2. The $25 wristband fee (good for 3 days of music) was only incurred by those who waited until Thursday to buy their wristbands. Note: Gordon was given an opportunity to be the only venue to sell wristbands at her venue, but was a no-show for the meeting/wristband exchange.

    3.The cost of sound has *not* increased for anyone except the Gates of Columbus and even then, the increase was negligible. Many of the venues who already have a sound system, and those who needed to rent one for the weekend, paid $200-$250/night. This is average. (sidenote: if you are not making more than a couple hundred dollars in alcohol sales during Blowout when your bar is packed, something is wrong on your end.)

    4. Cathie Gordon only scheduled one bartender to work during the Blowout and wait time for drinks was 10-15 minutes.

    5. If someone’s planning on drinking at a music event, they need much more than $5 to do so. That five bucks equals one drink, maybe.

    6. The Metro Times and their sponsors go out of their way to support the city of Hamtramck. I know this first hand.

    So glad the 2011 Blowout was a success, and I appreciate the opportunity to set the record straight. Don’t believe everything you hear, folks.

    Much love to Hamtramck,

    Eve Doster
    Hamtramck Resident
    Talent booker for the Metro Times’ Blowout

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