How did Summerfest survive?

Mike Clemens
Sunday, July 9th

Milwaukee, WI - Summerfest celebrated its 50th anniversary this year.

You've heard about the night comedian George Carlin was arrested for saying the 7 words on stage you can't say on radio or television. Did you know another main stage act was nearly arrested by Milwaukee police unless they left their hotel room and got on stage immediately?  Or that the first time Huey Lewis & The News played at the "BIG GIG" the new executive director Bo Black was convinced she and her staff would be fired the next day, just months into their new jobs? 

In this podcast you'll hear from Bob Babisch, in charge of booking all of the acts for Summerfest for nearly 40 years, and former executive director Bo Black, who took Summerfest from a modest music fest to world class status over 20 years. Wisconsin Hall of Fame broadcaster and Milwaukee radio executive  Jack Lee will take you through Summerfest from it's start in 1968, and former long time Summerfest/State Fair media director Patrice Harris reveals some behind - the - scenes stories in this 44 minute podcast hosted by The FAN’s Mike Clemens.

00:43:53

Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

It's Sunday morning. I'm Mike Clemens thanks for joining us summer fest Milwaukee's Lakefront festival began in 1968. Today is brings over 180. Million dollars in tourism dollars. To the state of Wisconsin. Every year. How did they book all those acts for over a dozen stages. Onto side stages and quality next big name acts Bob banished is been a part of summer fest now over forty years. And I asked them how big is the staff that has to be there to organize office fill out those contracts and see if you could book some of these big game Max to come to Milwaukee and play at the big game. Well we've got three of four people in the booking process in our office and mr. smiley is out there also so we all kind of get together. You know and we got off result you know who wants to work during their eleven day window that time period in the country. Now we're talking amphitheater shows and you know with a big XR and wanna work are planning ahead that she started going after their exits you know can fill that annually at the trying to make sure that you keep. An eclectic lineup and try to do little bit of everything. The says we are that's weeks or so different from all the other festivals and that. You can from the. It's summer fest entertainment director Bob Babb is so how big is the staff that you need to fulfill all the requests that the bands make. Well we have two or three different people with their production manager who does just yet the theater shows with a caring person who does that end. We're we're talking with their people all the time a lot of big bands now bring their own catering people and and you just give my place for the gonna put the food you know and then we may provide meals for the at the rest of the cruise but we've got a doctor on call expect dentists on call. People adding to these guys on the road than they've got to be able to be taken care of somewhere the between taking data. In a dentist. Summer fest now is able to draw the biggest names in rock and roll and show business including The Rolling Stones and Paul McCartney. Wanted to take the land the former beatle Bob Babbitt says it was connected to another surely booked. We have Princeton 2004. And hit the promoters that that's members compete co EG I think in a different name at the time. And they were in the building in the and they liked the way the venue set up because of Sony that point 3000 people in it when it's sold out. But you feel like like you are right that the crowd is right on top B community and so it came time to do the stones they were pro producing the tour and I told the band you're doing mostly stadiums once you have some fun into this event as you really bigot because it's. Just exactly reason crows are on top yet. So invaded the show and even did to a response and in the and in didn't do on the rest of the tour so it was time to do to McCartney there was one date they could do was July 8 we've been working and McCartney from. I don't fell and eight years trying to make it worth. And they call the production people from the stones to seem them this. Got to play this is where it's going to be like. Editor and network so well that normally they would come out and do an advance tour venue before they would opiate date they okay debate before he even saw the venue for a pool for a so it's racial. That summer fest entertainment director Bob -- issue books all the ax at the big gig it's Sunday morning I'm Mike Clemons nice to have you along. The first summer fest was back in 1968. The idea of then Milwaukee mayor Henry Meyer who traveled to Germany to October fest Jack Cooley. Has been a part of Milwaukee broadcasting for over fifty years as a top forty disc jockey. Program Director General manager the president a Milwaukee area radio stations association Jack says today summer fest is and exactly what mayor Meyer had in mind. What it has become it was never intended to be it was intended to be a very neighborhood oriented. More of an ethnic festival. Somebody early days. Things well on all over the city in different side not all intended to be on the lake on that there was no. Physical presence there. But I remember a lot of the planning that was on the air at W all realize. And the manager mark or a guy named moral Barnes was on the mayor's committee. Ira I remember being this just that many. This summer as local one almost famous logos on the war all the smiling face. Rumor our manager royal farms coming in from a meeting really disgusted. Because they're chosen that logo and he said they spent all this money and it the most ridiculous thing in the world. Any kid and four great kind of design that is so or local Walker Percy. It's funny men and Beckett that was just forget about that the other day when it comes to branding that's one of the amazing things that this fassel's done Jack because you know. It it just two weeks ago. The Monterey pop festival celebrated it's fiftieth birthday now. When they had that first festival on 67. I had this incredible lineup but Janis Joplin and The Who in Jimi Hendrix and the association. And on and on and on Simon and Garfunkel were there that weekend but you look at the Monterey pop vessel today fifty years later and like Jack Johnson. Blocker he and where his band was there I mean it doesn't come close. To this thing with a dozen stages and the top backs of all time. Playing in Milwaukee is supposed to to moderate how this thing has grown in its beat because of words like summer fast. The big gig I think which came up during the ball black hair on the logo salt ID relays logo goes that far back. Yeah hole broke goes back to book or whatever they don't hit the streets order restarted the heated. Promoted and talk a lot of them are there were I remember there are content that they hired an outside our. Being a bit shocked it and go buried there were not a big promotion budget this straight. Public servers the city event and so. Barack's vision W you'll hear why and W alrighty at the time war in employ all radio station in fact. To make two things happen with with the public being in preannouncement. So we were courted a lot buyer the mayor's office somewhere in the early days. And a at this jockeys MC all the concert there as a as a result. Identity and I've got to bring on James probably imagine that all 101. When there was no. Facility at all likable side stage space no and so Robert. To rip the crowds are that small. And are wrong war without his band. Where a music track and his dressing room was a trailer back behind the scenes and couple are newspaper people remember interviewed him and you know I was just standing around the world when PO would James Brown. Or just one of many many acts that. That disk jockeys all com. And and we did that for glory and in return or those saying on the air LB downloads or pressed you know after four. Or ever was and will have Jennings problem. So well in later years but I spent I don't know later juniors on this summer press publicity and advertising committee. And I was on during that time when they added a lot of infrastructure. And Adam the concept. Both black has to get the credit for realizing the money making potential. Brokers report from a time where there were panicking radio stations they have this jockeys come down. And and plucked them too when they were charging for radio and television stations to have a banner or wool growers sponsor or age or. Or put stickers on the the fact lighters. All the sudden they saw the media has potential clients. And that you know and I remember we talk about the staging I'm the first glimpse I got a summer fest and get their til 79 was Phil Donahue did like a week's worth of shows from there. And you get just right he would be broadcasting out was there was really isn't a stage or backdrop was just a platform just have wide open right platform. And and the audience sitting on bleachers in front of it and you know it certainly was pretty bare bones in the late sixties and early seventies. Yeah total market and put beer was broke so was not a whole lot of infrastructure but most of the stage as more states. Platforms. Under attempt to protect from a from the storms that you usually got every year. And it is. That took the ball was where's gradual looking back was it fifty years now yeah that's six years Syria. Looking at looking back there. Didn't all happen as a revolution news every year. Somebody jacks got bigger. They needed more sprays they needed due a different venue. And so broad street the first eight or ten years. Wasn't nothing like what it has been in the last 25 year. George Carlin famously on the stage there and gets hauled away for saving the center merger not supposed to say remain knows that story. But sly and the family stone hotter than a pistol tremendously talented band. But they were late to the party by the way I just learned this week warned we'd we'd grants the most popular sacks and wanna player where. He has played summer fest every year since the first year. Back seat I've I saw that on FaceBook depth tiger or who warmly and those same years. He political event called party in the regular hours as the light rail grants is all worked out. And tigers to Bob very and I used it in see those bands and that's that's the first time ever met or what do both or some. So worn says he was the opening act for sly and the family stone they had you know maybe a half hour 45 minutes material. And then the organizers that this summer feds say. Keep playing and keep playing slower is not here I'll tell tell us what happened that night. Well that was back when there was not a big menu there was not a lot of critical backstage or anything like that it was in the open field days. When there resist Oltmanns. Controlling your crop which of course it bit. And lives were stalled world record problem I think anyone had anticipated. And that was the date or both former packer and read Jordan was the director of summer oh yeah and and and Henry was you know who would kind of polo. And very well liked in Ireland where he was the director for all of let the good news he was a big guy or another big guy and in radio. With WA WA guy named don't see quite. A note you'll like it played amateur football. And lineup and we own all applied and and they went to their hotel room in Milwaukee are I don't know for sure but it was a cluster anywhere. They want to their hotel room. And this is debatable lighters and and artist contracts. And they said. Our manager art Batman has been down there and he. They've been vineyard totally inappropriate first first of all we're supposed to be met at the airport where shin. White stretch limos you know there were already and the others were black that not at all. Are supposed to have watermelon backstage and cut and certain sized pieces and they went on and so until our backstage. Needs are met working as failure and Leo hotel room and we're not going on our and so word got done you know but tell all work got some. We're having some contract negotiations with slime apparently don't they're here. They arrive pretty much on time but they were peers to go on until we get some ducks in order. And they wanna go on their whole held on this summer president Dwight limos there aren't that many watch stretch limos and now. I'd you know all the way analyst well meanwhile. The quality is beginning to chant and scream and we have boat near Wright situation. And well there's the mayor of Milwaukee has that tactical squad go to the hotel. Were slime the fan was the worst thing and go in and give them make announcements saying. You will go what does not outward police escort and water per vehicle where one of which UN. You will go to summer grass you will perform the current users there's a riot there you don't. And if you reputed to bet we will take you directly to jail that George you have. But that still took some time in the meantime describe as a spot pushed the stage or others screaming and they're yelling and they're throwing things. And Henry Jordan an old CY. Appeared at the end of the crop out and collect biblical times the crawled. Parted like the waters and they walk. In the middle of the crop for recognizable guys and just kind of made motions over and that. The call comet down all the down it was things calm they're coming they'll be here beat cool. And they were given credit for stopping. What literally we're about to be a major riot. And sly and the family spell went there with police escort and performed. The power of the former packer. Henry jargon when his hands over his head like who's gonna mess with the former defensive lineman no one yet nobody an award says I mean. He said the crowd was immense heat as the 45. Hole 101000 down there it covered a wrestler lake front. Waiting for the hottest act on the radio at the time sliced off the show up so those fathers she says either get your butt down there or you're going to the slammer. And usually that performance Terry was drawings 78000 peoples in the au prince contain them sure well would that many people was opens with muck Don you know hours before. And and people are. The liquid the only thing containing. That's classic Jack I greatly appreciate it's okay Bubba. Why the family stone from that concert in 1970 when things almost got. I'm Mike lemons you're listening to Sunday morning. That's Huey Lewis and The News. They've played summer fest for the first time in 1984. When may have the hottest album out on the top. Chart sports. The place was just not. The old main stage along the Lakefront sad about 181000. Crowd estimates in the papers said the next day as many as 35000. Or more showed up. It was elbow to elbow no room to breathe. Huey Lewis so just not about Hughes said that that's one of the most important concerts in his career even talks about it on his website. The executive director that night she changed summer fashion after twenty years of running the big gig it's bold black joining us here on Sunday morning. Mole you remember that night. How that would if that was my first here being the executive director of them pass and did Danielle made states. And he. He'd give aid going on I'm it was so crowded there are people hanging on the light poles. They were it is like Kuwait cut I mean it is just amazing and so the board of directors. Directed by Jack and met bill through decided they had to build the amphitheater. Which in most stage. There are Manny. And so. Steve back and gave bunny and we built run because if you head detective who sophisticated. And and be ahead they're readers these that he could do that you didn't have elevated stage. Yes sonar to get to the next level of entertainers and and concert tours you're gonna have to build a facility for them because. You know that old main stage but it it was supposed to see about 181000 I think twice that many showed up for Huey Lewis million. I could exactly. Since it was iPad. OK get this job this year. I have this step next year and is that it was just it was. And to implement stability. So that was a nervous night for you. Very nervous that we really. I'm here here either this can be added here. So it was a bad moment right there that you said you know we've got to do a better job of building these different stages because. You know talking and Jack leave about the history is summer fest is starts out with the idea Henry Meyer. Going to Germany coming back and say let's have like this kind of a festival celebrating music and culture. And that the original summer fest was in four or five different locations it wasn't just all on the lake for a. Right right it was well over that the PA is pretty different bases. And then. Bit by M I can't stand Kelly Jack and met. They have got together married for the money and and they. May Billy friend so that they can do planted there and that's really when I first came Palin mean Jared may have ABM. And a group of him Manning. But it lived. Is this had been getting. Was there any kind of did you tour around other festivals or other parks to get some ideas to say to see worst summer fest could go. I did. Bill drew had the idea of the ample theater so they lend to Toronto. At least that's willing. So Matt blank it was go go go. And and then we said Garrett baptism hockey right now where higher early Briggs. And Neil this is the first laps and lead. They would give money and they live improved their. Stages. And simply get kept doing it is I think you're doing that with Miller again this year. They are and they're talking about that film he did perhaps a revamped. The they after theaters while but it's gotten all an awful lot of use in. The weather out there down the lake front that puts aware and terror on the stages are horror. Yeah yeah. So it's we're talking a bold black. Who. It was so instrumental but let me tell you this story couple weekends ago is the fiftieth anniversary of the Monterey pop festival OK okay and in the summer of 67 when they had their first one. That was tremendous because what was changing in music in that way or you know you've seen the film clips of Jimi Hendrix was there and those who was there and Janis Joplin and Simon and Garfunkel soul force those are great booking. But I was looking at their line up fifty years later. And you know Jack Johnson is there and the rest are a bunch of bands that are maybe newer something. But. Think air burden and the animals they came back fifty years later but I rally the you know then it's it's on some Connie fairgrounds and other awards. That festival never grew past that there are regional you know fantastic night or two or three days they had back in 67. That's what I think is so unique about summer fest to go from a completely new concept of sort of this world. Festival you know music that kind of thing that mayor Henry Meyer the vision he had and how well. She rented Germany and fact our fast food. We at this stage is that that the food vendors. And really matter after that. And but but within just a couple years. It was quickly becoming this great. I mean credible rock and roll fast with some of the biggest named acts. Ever like you know Jack Cooley tells a story about sly and the family stone to be there are drawn huge crowds like in 1970 just a couple of our later. How long how long were you involved with summer fest before you became the executive director. Well. A word to have me Jarden. In seven and June 17 let me pull back. And then that age. Limited. Multiple sclerosis the man elected mayors up this basic shares in would executive director for that are. Of returning years. Yeah asserting in an 84. Right. Yeah so I this the puppet theater was was huge for you to get that big of the venue yet. Well really well as you know CNET. There was times bigger than Catholics and sanction then stayed back. That and then building a reputation year after year and then your buddy Bob Babb issues but do in the book you know these are yeah. Ted you know now you've reached the pinnacle you've had The Rolling Stones there you've had Paul McCartney there. It just goes on now. Pesky this fell. You know. When I was first able to go to summer fest for the first when you know what the first concert I get to see journalists try journey at the old main stage all my gosh. I tell that to sixty year olds now they can say that band still lives on forever never Steve Perry was you know their lead singer. But they sales he saw journey. It's almost like saying you saw Elvis or something where ledger yeah. But but but you know I some of my fondest memories are. Tina Turner had not been on the charge for many years and she'd broken away from from Ike Turner. And there she is someone of the side stages I wanna see me with a small build smaller perhaps stage. With a new song after she did proud Mary and some ever our other and it's some adult what's love got to do with it. And like six months before that hit the record and she had that whole resurgence to her career in the eighties. All kinds of shows like that you've got to have ones that your favorite night's three your pension your saves that I can't believe we got this artist here's some fast. The claimed he had. Had she lived be brought him likable. And bad bet he said. Well so you get it could be heard chic in mere fact someday. And sure enough police KT. Is it just goes on everybody's been semi bad. Now does that is art isn't it great when you see those artists you say wow this one's special this once. This one's going places and there are some for some any accident on that. I also just learned the other area I didn't realize that this Milwaukee's favorites saxophone player warned regrets. Has played the fast. Every year for fees are here. Is that I think that's so neat. I think that's only in this those great for him to it to testified to the growth to you talk about did you god went to work originally for Henry Jordan the old. Packers defensive lineman provincial party. I'm not always Henry's. And it's great view this keeps happening so you know he tab and be personable. Which I am obviously. Said alma and every better this SMTP believe that in hand written now. And I mean it maybe it doesn't seem like a big deal it it is important lady raise money. So right there and here they've banning some might prevent regard. So summer fest today. Is the berries financially successful. It's still has great turnouts even in the last night's rain there was a good turnout. And you know that and they've they've grown with corporate sponsors that type of thing. But I think all his interest in using your approach was. You know you were part of the face of the festival you were there is a spokesperson you were there walked in the grounds to greet people and take pictures with people and you know you were. You are the host of of summer fest and I that worked. Four UN for many years in terms of opening doors to pick tell people hate you know you need to get in on this thing and help sponsors and help us grow. You know to get to the next level level next year. And you know I think the hours that you put it sometimes. We're just unbelievable. Between now and and I got to tell you. The media. For many of your twenty years. They are always looking for what what's wrong you know like it was too crowded last night or. Are they the bathrooms had problems and they they always were were picking at summer festival that seems to have gone away. That UN through a lot of challenges like that it. To hold people by the hand saying c'mon you know let's let's be fair about war trying to accomplish from Milwaukee and Wisconsin right. Okay I had to do from mine well they're you know when something's dying in these. I would say I was there in that early years. And that and ended years you have to do more promoting. You have to be out there. You know let it rest stairway enemies do the commercials are. Somebody else let me just they're commercial. And you had to do things like bed to get it going because. The band name was that there. I had these same phase inspecting place to mine. We're talking in the former executive director of summer fest bold black. Here on Sunday morning most summer fest is now known not only nationally but around the world. And yet I think most of those sites and realizes that this deeply embarrassing and seventh of the event that forget the ethics of those. Debt debt that brings people together and and you know I bet I really used instead of the ethnic. That's right watching get the facility those all kinds of things you can do with it and that whatever that's what's been so amazing with fast tally. And German fast and Irish fest those things are going on 20/20 five years as well now. Right thanks so once she got those grounds going. For just the 1011 day music festival I greatly appreciate your time thank you so much and we'll talk you down the road can't. Okay that's former executive directors summer fest bold black. Here on Sunday morning Patrice Harris was a long time media relations director for the big gig for summer fest. And the Al joins us here on Sunday morning how long were you there Patrice. I actually did seventeenth at the fourteen full time. So it's regarded very tablet. Always we did that's receipt. And I'm member working with yeah I was I saw so there was so we were marketing PR director nine years I thought item and I think I think I remember for much longer than that. Yeah. Petraeus Petraeus. I'll just get this out of the way. You were one of the very best to ever deal with because you you're a reporter. Or working for one of the radio stations. And getting in and you're you're trying to cover the story you're trying to cover the conscience is gonna happen talked to the fans CO at a good time they are. And you couldn't have been more helpful more accommodating. With great facts at your fingertips else did a great job when you work with the Wisconsin state fair to what I hectic job. And already living with a walkie talkie you know all. But keeping cool. And you know getting through the crises because you know he's got a 100000 people in the park at night. And you're just trying to make thinks the wiz you know go smoothly from. One event to the next it was quite a training ground quite an experience for you all those years. Implants and a really appreciate the kind words. Its staff and they worked with and the staff now which. Many of which and there are forward twenty plus years at Pappas is celebrating its fortieth that the air. I mean it was. An incredible experience I am nostalgic this year attenuation I was there for the sixtieth. Will be there epic hatred most definitely. But I was part of its when he Aniston thirty it and it was it was just didn't turner. Alliger I wanna talk about just briefly to these things that to these days you're working with today. Social development commission and using your skills and media relations and marketing to help people trying to improve their lives right. Re wearing anti property agencies serving Milwaukee count me and we can't actually program sperm and everything firms use app tells seniors. We have to have training program for low income individuals. Educational program. Residential program to help people stay warm in the winner improved their limitations now a wide variety of services. And there's you know really nothing better when you see someone come and looking to improve there laughter and actually succeed. So Patrice let's talk about all those years at summer fest and how that festival grew he know. Last weekend. Was the fiftieth anniversary of the Monterey pop festival. Now the first one was legendary because of what was happening in music. And now you know the stars lined up and the bookings for that was everything from the association. To Simon and Garfunkel to Janis Joplin. Who Jimi Hendrix. And on and on and on it was fabulous. They were celebrating their fiftieth anniversary and I looked it up and it's. You know it was OK I think Jack Johnson was there I think they think. Booker T and the MG's came back Eric burden in the animals. One of the original classics from the summer 67 the summer allowed Eric still performing to this day. And many times as summer fest as well he was there and I thought how about that. How bump Milwaukee. With. All good ol' Henry mired mayor with his up there. He's doing his little festival re kind of wanted to bring in German culture and European cultures and the Koreans on that. And this thing quickly growing into. The best rock pop jazz. Music festival around the world there's nothing else that really. It's really. Comes close to the right it's summer fest but so is there have you ever traveled or heard of anything is that even come comes close to with some offense has grown to. In fifty years. Think the today he would ever after in the media day is it does there's a combination and different genres there's something for every age group. And it really brings that means he gather together it's a tractor from hockey. But it also puts this plate and Milwaukee area and brings attention. National and international attention. She's good city. And I don't think. I mean there are other large music festivals but the continue it takes back your Allah the years. And like you mentioned mayor my ear. Why didn't start it as you know affordable event for mainly when people didn't have money. Q and go wind you know I'm state vacation three and outs state vacations. And for a lot of people that traditions still continues. And it's just and mean they've seen how it's grown even from when I was there teach today it means the ground now are. Suggests to me that they were great the changes we made when I was mayor did to have that and mentally and the staff has done in. Continually. Improving the ground. Don't think he's he's back at. You know a lot of other large music acts and. Also brings in a 180 million dollars of the state every year. Yeah we had to wait and. Impact is he kept a power fouling out. Restaurants that do amazing business it's not like everywhere and it's just on the ground and apps people go a lot for practice before hand. They visit our museum. You know they go out to didn't do would be go to the heartily meets again. And I mean just in the city beta also extend to be an advocate people are traveling. Q now Lockheed and are obviously tapping on the when he giving hotels that they are coming in. Firm against and white speck con man and you know attack the term Amtrak Bloomberg. All of those things. The increase in business during the two weeks around summer. Solves Cheri quickly my experiences I think the first time I went to summer fest that was 1819. And drove down with a carload or friends. And we saw Steve Perry and journey that deal main stage. And you tell people that today and like. No kidding me yeah not I don't stop believe men and lights and all of those songs Steve Perry injury just. You know not in the dust off the speaker's ceremonial main stage on the lake front outstanding. And year after year it's has gone on like that is strange recollections like a friend who was working backstage when John Denver was there and she said I'm working on a writer for John Denver. I have to get to bamboo trees I don't know why he needs to bamboo trees in this dressing room. One night. Tina Turner and home loans from such a legend back in the sixties and seventies. If she's on the small stage of the right because she's got a new album promote the first one maybe she's done in ten years after breaking away from Ike. And she does this song called what's love got to do with it. In the likes six months before it's on the radio. And no like that's that's a pretty good song. Pretty neat night. Another night seeing the late great Roy Orbison on the old perhaps. State where we've put the rock and roll bands of the 50s60s setting up there and it was like Tuesday night or something a driving rain. Still a 1002000. Fans out there standing out there to honor this guy and he stay on their of that rain. Mourners facing in pretty woman. And suddenly like just a couple years after recently passed away. Those are just things that I every time I I think of special nights this summer for us I think of just this incredible variety. Of memories or or Tracy Morgan I introduce Tracy Morgan at the comedy stage and I said who's next door. James Brown always got to take him. So I take traces security guy and he says yeah c'mon man and we get to meet James Brown backstage. Or the night debating Billy Crystal was there and we hadn't seen him. If for a couple years. And he does is great comedy set at the old colony station says. Watch me this coming Saturday and Saturday nights now in the fall going to be on Saturday Night Live. Reinvented his career you know. All the movies that he was and after that introducing me Oscars all those kinds of great memories from from. From the years of summer fest you've got a hundred of them what are your top two or three memories. I'm and it's funny because some of them have to do it music but a lot of them you're on the go while they can surely make catch a fine here there. I I would Spain. Person like crazy and what this staff had going and this week out. That it trying to land at that angle when opening day those gates that they and you have. It was on people ballot Ellis sprang to certain barriers to get the first of the year of summer facts and just seeing how come together. And honestly working with the media. That has while he can't and deadlines and you needed saying things information and people they interview. Everywhere without some very understanding of the crazy not. And couldn't have bang. Batter and more patient to work where I would say like 90%. Of that. How am I being one of my favorite memories and it's that bad memory. Is it wasn't an official make a list beginning. Make a whisper young woman. Name's Lee and she's fifteen years old and she had bone in my for cancer that was terminal. Blake was a complete surprise she's the to Metallica. The soul we com. Worked with one of the guys who actually booked them militarily. Make short called me like keeping you can make that come together and herb and was friends with the weight of one of our stage and and that we made it come together. When they matter in the work hard Caver elective VIP pass scene really being elected today. Critique and it was speech code most of the day. Moved your seats that had that she get sick. She had to be entry in part to a hospital. Com fairly quickly now ambulance. Came and NAFTA or paint and extreme ambulance just dedicated to her. We want that after the show or into the dressing room and she wouldn't talk. And they apparently likes hanging drumstick giving her teachers try to attack there are more than the guys at their lake. She knew. And that now I think she just really excited and nervous nineteen leave. You know this doesn't happen at Mike and you up and you have to talk it and I think things and things currently up. So. He left and Kirk and buyers came down to the production opted. After you left and they were like he might flee at what was her attacker. And I don't know but he can't do it that she's got terminal bone in there and they assemble and you read chair. I think yeah outscored their like or airplane what was that intently at her in and I think that. You know she's filling the Alan out you know we'd love to have her come back and well they are. And and she ended up going perfect partner and tax status siege is on a ago and very answering machine. And earn an IMAP Metallica laughs day you getting. Technically ended in no way hang out with Metallica a hearing at. We even met it. And I mean get the help someone an experience that. And and Herm and called me just about two months later and told he had passed. And I agent that admiral gas light following. And Italy you know was just as fat tissue such. You know should be so appreciative she and her red issues that stated. And justice he's someone that young. You know lose their way but knowingly keep in meetings tremendous impact of the memory. That's probably my favorite. C Patrice and that's why summer fest is now celebrating its fiftieth anniversary because vets like you that were there for seventeen Summers. With your walkie talkie I don't know if I've ever talked to you without you walkie talkie. Myself and patiently and I think that. Eight years as felt fine in two radios that would contribute Peter went pretty direct with the puck its. Cap that is it's like knowing their background I happen to people. So the key was this is that you. When I ask you about your memories you an answer like took a peek on this show hours I met this star backstage here the first story on your mouth. Is satisfying customers or helping. The folks that pay to get intent to make sure that they have a good time worth there's special needs special logistics. Can do attitude to make those kinds of dreams come true that's the best story evolved that's why this thing is it is celebrating its fiftieth here and and vibrant. Is when you keep the customers in line I think that's that's awesome I want this kind of changes. You know the media and some professor you so focused so much on. Well we had a 1101000 their last 540000. That we get to that we used to measure. Success by attendance. And I agreed. Cakes and raining men and I hit it collins' numbers been every marketing person before me. Holland numbers to media and when Ben went to attract per million in 2001 and that was the big. Stories action mean it would be great seeing it hit it. But it wasn't all about the numbers. Now wisely I think one turn that's happened in recent years as they said you know it. Which judge it by. Financial success in terms of sponsorships let's make it a comfortable. Size crowd there because I think if there that was a number one complaint is they say like. Yeah I'd like to go to Saturday night but I'll never go again because it's it's you feel like Uranus are dean can. Aaron. Number that first game. We can attendance record Tom's. The patch quantum paper and are playing in the camp at the Gator solves. Believed yeah I believe Lee hit a 122000. That day. And it was in. And I remember vividly sitting and that term Pappas is talents. And it was. I mean within a couple weeks they think of guaranteed starting Anthony's aberrant act do you mean it. You know attendance every three hours thing anymore like my you know immediate and flip out about that like I don't know I. And you play it's not about the numbers it's going to be a ballot. They experience for people tan. Making them come their ball. And enjoying the event being able to see that Bayern now waiting in mean. Forward you know ever again it's something the and he's done and eighteen. You know that change when you go through good rounds. You are getting Beers spilled all over you you are getting bumped into news you know you're not getting stepped out when you're watching your show. And I mean that makes a world of difference in the experience and bringing back read peaks perhaps there's bull. There's Al over me you can find a place to sit you know most of its handling. You you know want to get something to eat you can have your time and we and the ground together. At driver six at practical way. You know without it being. Almost scary for it and there's so many people. Longtime marketing director for some profess also states are now open on the community. Greatly appreciate your time we'll talk to down the road kids thank you much at at the former marketing director for summer fest Patrice Harris I'm Mike Clemens you're listening to Sunday morning.
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