Young Jeezy headlines Summer JamWritten by Martini Rox | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Win tickets to this Huntington Center event — watch the Toledo Free Press Facebook page for details.
On July 8 the Huntington Center will feature a Hip-Hop tour and there is no question that Summer Jam 2011 is the hottest ticket in town. Major Hip-Hop acts like Young Jeezy, Plies, Travis Porter, Gorilla Zoe and R&B crooner Lloyd are confirmed and on board with bringing this major tour to the city. This raises the question, is Toledo’s urban music community big enough to carry such a tour? Sure, we have had big shows brought to us by the city’s urban-based stations, but a tour is different. Shows are booked in clubs or small venues with one or two major artists and a lot of local acts. Tours have several major artists, fewer local acts and appear in larger venues and/or arenas.
Toledo’s hesitation to accept the news of a major tour is understandable considering past inadequate or “janky” promoters who have sold tickets to shows that never materialized. Unfortunately, the constant excuses and finger-pointing left people angry, in financial distress and skeptical about urban events. Availability and ticket costs starting at $60 raised some concern, but throughout the years I have seen a number of Toledoans spend more on a concert ticket and gas for a show in Detroit, Cleveland or Columbus.
There is no denying the job crisis affecting all, especially the urban youth. Because an event of this magnitude is usually promoted two months in advance, it makes the four-week window seem small in terms of providing enough time for potential concertgoers to hear about and prepare for it. However, all stations that play the featured acts are giving away tickets daily to listeners, incorporating contests and club nights. The buzz has been constant and positive with the knowledge that the success of one major tour could open the city up for consideration by other big-time promoters organizing national urban events.
The possibilities are endless in terms of revenue passing through Toledo — providing entertainment, business and the opportunity for local artists to share the stage with national acts. Confirmed concert openers include Rapper Lady Te from Detroit and local rappers B. Wills, Cuntry and R&B singer Jay Rush. The three local slots were filled with careful consideration by the events production team Global Event Marketing, based on street buzz and proactive promotion by the individual artists.
Global Event Marketing is responsible for bringing Summer Jam to Toledo. The company is based out of Chicago and is well known among music industry professionals for producing major events across the country. Radio and television advertisements for Summer Jam can be seen and heard in Detroit, Toledo and surrounding areas. Local street teams and the local artists performing have been enlisted to promote and spread the word. Tickets can only be purchased at official Ticketmaster outlets, the Huntington Center and Ticketmaster.com. Beware of scalpers selling fake VIP and backstage passes. Security will not be an issue and, with the ground support across the city, Summer Jam is on track to becoming a success.
I urge all to support the event and the local artists as this will be a great look for the city and a good way to prove Toledo is capable of handling Hip-Hop on a large scale. If we do not help create these opportunities for our own area talent no one else will.
As we continue on …