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May 31

Santa Rosa Island Authority Gives Green Light for Labor Day Concert on Pensacola Beach

In a unanimous vote the Santa Rosa Island Authority agreed to grant William Cadillac Banks permission to have the 2013 Gulf Coast Summer Fest Concert on  Pensacola  Beach.

This is the first concert of this magnitude that we as African Americans are doing on the beach,” said Banks. “We have a great line up we are working on for this Labor Day event.  We are about ninety days away and I’m still working on that.  We also have to work on protecting the sea turtles because this is their nesting times as well.”

Banks stated that he wanted to be able to have concert goers park at the civic center and have a bus pick them up and carry everyone over to the beach.  “This will eliminate some of the traffic and also allow people to have a pleasant experience totally.”

“The concert will consist of three segments; R&B, Jazz and Blues,” said Banks. “We have Mary J Bli8dge on the list. We have sent Mary J Blidge three offers; one for the 3oth of August in Jackson , Mississippi, 31st in Pensacola, Sept 1 Baton Rouge and so far we have not received any response.  We also have Mint Condition which has been confirmed, Fantasia, Black Street, Heads of State, Keith Sweat, Johnny Gill.  ON the Jazz lineup we’re looking at Will Downing, Jeno Brown, Michael Ward and possibly AWB.   On the Blues line up we’re looking at Big Rob, Lacey, and possibly Sir Charles.  This is all in the planning stage.  It’s not official yet- they are in the making.

Tickets for the event will be$65 for the day.  “We will be doing a one day special at some point where tickets will be $40. This will be a onetime deal on a certain day.  I have not determined which day but when it is announced, you should get your ticket then if you want to get a discount.  After that, and at the gate, tickets will resume to the regular price of $65.”

Cadillac (as he is known to his friends and community) has been in the business of booking concerts since 2002.  Since then he has produced concerts in Pensacola,  Atlanta, , Mississippi, and Mobile, Alabama to name just a few places.
When asked what made him get into the concert business, he replied “ to see my people smile.”  I used to go to Mobile a lot because we would never have anything here and so I thought why can’t we have something here?  That’s when I decided to bring concerts here.”  I didn’t know anything about the business when I began.  It was a definite learn as you go experience.  I did my first concert at the Platinum Club.  It was with Urban Mistic and it was packed out.”

Cadillac now works with such touring companies as Live Nation and AEG. “I just received an email from AEG to work for Mindless Behavior that’s coming to the Mobile Civic Center. Since that time, I’ve met a lot of promoters and been a lot of places.”

When structuring concerts, Cadillac stresses that financing is the key to a good concert.  “I’m always looking for investors.  Often times the investment can run from two hundred fifty thousand dollars to four hundred thousand dollars.  And you well know, not all concerts make a large profit.  Bad weather, no shows, lack of participation and a number of things can go wrong.  However, in most cases when we purchase insurance, if something does happen, such as bad weather, etc. the insurance will pay of thus allowing the investor to get his money back.  In this business, as an investor, you must understand that there is always a possibility of taking a loss.  But when its good it’s really good.”  Most of his investors are silent investors.  “They never come to the concert.  They usually sit at home and watch the ticket sales because that’s the way I have it set up for them.”  When asked if any of his investors were African American he stated “I’ve got one investor that’s African American.  Unfortunately, Black folks don’t usually have a half million dollars lying around to invest nor can they go to the banks and borrow that kind of money.  So it limits our ability to make money in this business.”

This concert is expected to be a sellout event.” We already know that there are people coming in from Atlanta, Mississippi, Texas, Birmingham and surrounding areas.  They have been contacting me on Facebook already trying to get dates so that they can make their reservations.  It’s the last holiday of the summer and it’s on the beach.  What better way to end a great summer.”

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