Q98.5 Legends of Country series done after one

Organizers Next Door Inc. lost an estimated $15,000 on the first concert; second and third concerts canceled

The Q98.5 Legends of Country Concert Series has been added to the death toll of the local music scene.

The Next Door Inc.’s series has been put on hold due to poor ticket sales and turnout to the June 17 Jim Ed Brown with Helen Cornelius and Hank Thompson concert at Rockford Theatre.

The second concert of the series, featuring Bill Anderson, Jan Howard and “Little” Jimmy Dickens, was planned for July 8, but was canceled after Next Door Inc. lost an estimated $15,000 on the first concert.

The Next Door Inc. needed to sell at least 600 tickets to break even—only 162 tickets were sold. The company was left to foot the rest of the bill.

“We were pretty floored by the turnout,” said Kevin Yocum, president of Next Door Inc. “We thought it was mind boggling that in a town of 150,000 people, we couldn’t get 600 to show up.”

Yocum said those who did show up had a great time and remarked how wonderful the show was.

The show cost Next Door Inc. anywhere from $18,000 to $20,000 to put together. These totals do not include extra fees as the concert date drew closer.

“If we lost $10,000 instead of $15,000, we could have at least put on the second show,” Yocum said. “At least the next two shows are canceled.”

The Next Door Inc. is hoping to start the series again, or at least start assembling some somewhat smaller mainstream bands.

Yocum said his company hopes to bring mainstream music back to the Rockford area. He added that Rockford’s location between music-friendly hot spots Chicago and Madison would seem to make it a good location for mainstream music.

“When we do get mainstream, it’s washed-up ‘80s bands,” Yocum said.

Yocum said it would be great to have live music at the Times Theatre again, but that would require sponsors to help reopen it.

The Next Door Inc. is looking to bring music-loving people, ages 16-40, to Rockford, but the music isn’t coming.

“Rockford doesn’t mind not existing,” Yocum said.

The Next Door Inc. is trying to come up with new ways to get the Rockford area involved in music and new ideas on whom to bring to town.

Yocum said, “We’re still trying to figure out where to go next.”

From the July 6-12, 2005, issue

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