July 26, 2010
AZ Daily Star Editorial: "Musicians' boycott hurts innocent folks"
Here's a great editorial about the effects of SB1070 and its subsequent AZ boycott on local businesses, namely ours.
Musicians' boycott hurts innocent folks
Posted: Monday, July 26, 2010 12:00 am
Our view: Sadly, reaction to SB 1070 puts the success of the Rialto in jeopardy
The boycott against Arizona that was prompted by SB 1070, the controversial new immigration law that's being challenged in court, is hurting the wrong people.
Case in point: The management at the nonprofit Rialto Theatre downtown told us they've lost more than $100,000 because of the boycott and The Sound Strike, a nationwide musicians' strike against Arizona.
The Rio Nuevo redevelopment district owns the historic Rialto, but leased it to be operated by the nonprofit Rialto Theatre Foundation.
The foundation invests revenue remaining after its expenses in improvements on the historic structure, the sound, lights and HVAC system, and the theater's safety. Since 2005, that's a reinvestment of $750,000, said Doug Biggers, executive director of the Rialto.
The system works for the theater and for downtown. As an aside, Rio Nuevo board members who want the theater to provide a revenue stream to the redevelopment district are shortsighted. Their view suggests they don't understand the boost the current Rialto operating arrangement brings to downtown. More about that later.
As to the boycott, Biggers told the Rio Nuevo board last month that the theater is essentially only breaking even at this point. That's partly because of the lousy economy. But the boycotts have hit the theater even harder.
Acts that have canceled Rialto gigs because of the SB 1070 Arizona boycotts include:
• Cypress Hill, which cost the theater an estimated $20,000;
• Joan Baez at the Fox, which cost the foundation an estimated $12,000;
• Gogol Bordello, an estimated $15,000 net loss;
• Louis C.K, an estimated net loss of $15,000;
• Yeasayer, a $10,000 net loss;
• Dr. Dog, $10,000 gone;
•Vampire Weekend/Beach House, a loss of $20,000.
Another eight groups that have played the Rialto in the past, including Sonic Youth, have joined Sound Strike.
We've said it before, but it bears repeating: Those boycotting Arizona are hurting those they least want to injure, especially workers in the hotel and resort industry, and the boycott has unintended consequences that reverberate throughout Arizona's economy.
One institution that may be at risk is the Rialto Theatre, whose success has a direct economic impact on myriad downtown businesses.
As Biggers told the Rio Nuevo board, the theater produces an average of three shows a week. In the past five years, it's drawn 400,000 concert-goers downtown.
Figure each of them spends $10 before or after a concert, and you have more than $4 million in Rialto-generated spending pumping into downtown restaurants, shops and bars. We think $10 is a low-ball estimate. Make it $20, and that's $8 million.
But Rio Nuevo board member Mark Irvin said this during the board's June 30 meeting: The Rialto is "not producing any revenue and we'd like to see that change."
We'd say that $4 million or $8 million in Rialto-generated spending does nothing if not add to Rio Nuevo's income; the district's tax increment money is collected.
And were the Rio Nuevo board members to decide the foundation needs to tithe in some way to them, they'd essentially be drawing down cash that would have been used to maintain and improve an asset they own(!).
The Rialto Theatre is a success story and a downtown treasure in every way, as an historic property, as a generator of nightlife energy and as an economic engine for downtown.
If the foundation can't make ends meet because of the boycotts, that would be a terrible loss to Tucson.
Arizona Daily Star
To learn more about the musicians' strike, go to thesoundstrike.net
July 22, 2010
Stream Rhythm Devils tracks Here!
Comes The Dawn
The Rhythm Devils began as the duo of Grateful Dead drummer Bill Kreutzmann and his percussionist partner Mickey Hart. Over the years, they transcended rock and roll drum stereotypes with polyrhythmic explorations of the world of percussion, using an extraordinary variety of instruments and approaches. The aftermath of this collaboration was the larger Rhythm Devils, which have made periodic reappearances over the years. The 2010 version includes Bill Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart, Keller Williams (guitar, vocals) in July and Tim Bluhm of the Mother Hips (guitar, vocals) on later dates, Davy Knowles (guitar, vocals), Sikiru Adepoju (talking drum), and Andy Hess (bass). Watch The Devils perform originals and Grateful Dead tunes LIVE at The Rialto Theatre, next Wednesday, July 28. Tickets are still available online at rialtotheatre.com, at our box office (M-F, 12-6) and by phone at 520.740.1000 (M-F, 12-6).
July 19, 2010
JUST ANNOUNCED: Michael Franti & Spearhead - 9/24/10
We're very happy to bring Mr. Franti and Spearhead back to Tucson for the third consecutive time to celebrate their upcoming record "The Sound of Sunshine" on September 24th!
Michael made a video announcement that you can see here:
And yes that is an exact scale replica of their tour bus.
Tickets will go on sale July 30th at 10am online at rialtotheatre.com, by phone at 520.740.1000 (M-F, 12-6) and through our box office (M-F, 12-6).