Tight budget affects next year’s Carefree concert series

By Curtis Riggs | May 13, 2009

Start later, end earlier next season
CAREFREE – The Town Center “Concerts in the Gardens” series will start a month later and end a month earlier next season.

Budget constraints are requiring the first concert of the season to be moved back to October instead of the normal September start date. This reduces the number of concerts next season from eight to six.

Town Center concerts are held the third Thursday of the month in the Carefree Town Center Amphitheater.

Another wrinkle in the concert series for next year is the concerts will not occur unless there is an individual sponsor for them.

“If there is no sponsor, then we won’t have it,” Wise said about the $2,000 sponsorships for individual concerts becoming critical because of the shrinking revenue for the town, which comes in the form of reduced sales-tax dollars. She adds, the town is “pretty well set” on concert sponsorships next year, however.

Wise said usually more than half of the eight concerts held in a season have sponsors, which range from APS to Cox Communications.

Town Center concerts will be held in October, November, January, February, March and April next season. Igor’s Jazz Cowboys, Apple, Glory Days, Affinity, Paul McDermott and the Scottsdale Concert Band will take the stage in the Town Center Amphitheater as part concert series next year.

Another change in the concert series is the December holiday concert will not be held in conjunction with the town’s annual Christmas party next year. The December concert will be held downtown during the second-annual Carefree Christmas Festival. The way Wise sees it this makes the December concert the responsibility of Christmas festival organizers.