published Friday, July 15th, 2011

Courter: Tickets selling well for new concert venue

Chattanoogans are notorious for holding onto their money when it comes to buying concert tickets, so it is worth noting that sales have been brisk for shows planned at a venue that won’t even open for a couple of months.

Tickets went on sale last month for four shows booked at Track 29, the concert venue going into the old skating rink at the Chattanooga Choo Choo, and managing partners Adam Kinsey and Josh McManus said they’ve been pleased with the numbers.

Jamey Johnson will open the venue on Sept. 1. Corey Smith will play Sept. 9, M. Ward with Dawes is booked for Sept. 24 and Ghostland Observatory is scheduled Oct. 4.

Kinsey and McManus have been patiently readying the 22,000-square-foot room for a couple of months now. They’ve also been doing their homework, talking to artists and studying contract riders, looking for clues as to what makes bands happy. They’ve also been attending and working events such as Bonnaroo, looking for ideas on how to handle things like security.

In regard to keeping the bands happy, the green rooms at Track 29, for example, will include showers and washers and dryers. Extras like that make bands want to come back, and they share information with other acts, McManus said.

For fans, they will notice two things at Track 29 they won’t find elsewhere in town. The first is a coat-check area at the entrance. Fans will stand at most Track 29 shows, so hanging onto coats can be a drag. The second thing patrons will see will be four VIP rooms above the bar area. The rooms look out over the floor area and stage and will hold up to 20 people each. Perks will include private bathrooms and a dedicated server.

A movable stage lets the room accommodate anywhere from 1,000 people to 1,800 and maintain a sense of intimacy. These numbers are important to local music fans because they represent a void. We have clubs that can hold smaller numbers, and we have venues in the Tivoli (1,700) and Memorial Auditorium (3,700) that can hold more, but really nothing in between. Kinsey and McManus said they can add capacity in the future if the demand is there.

* * * * *

A Pittsburgh restaurant owner has decided that kids under 6 are no longer welcome in his establishment.

There are several issues and questions about this story. First, why did he cut the age off at 6? Why did it take so long for someone to do this? How bad are the parents in Pittsburgh (notice I didn’t say kids), and what is it about some of us that we think it is a good idea to take a young child to a nice restaurant?

Are we really that selfish?

Every parent has at some point been in a spot where their child is clearly not into it. Most of us know that when that happens, it’s time to leave. It doesn’t matter if you are at the park, the grocery store, a Chuck E. Cheese, the movies or the country club. If Junior is bothering other people, you leave, right?

* * * * *

Chattanoogan Peyton Davis will appear on TLC’s “Toddlers and Tiaras” Wednesday at 10 p.m. The show deals with children’s beauty pageants.

about Barry Courter...

Barry Courter is staff reporter and columnist for the Times Free Press. He started his journalism career at the Chattanooga News-Free Press in 1987. He covers primarily entertainment and events for ChattanoogaNow, as well as feature stories for the Life section. Born in Lafayette, Ind., Barry has lived in Chattanooga since 1968. He graduated from Notre Dame High School and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a degree in broadcast journalism. He previously was ...

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