Record crowds for Lake Tahoe Summer Outdoor Concert Series

Attendance records were shattered at the 2013 Lake Tahoe Summer Outdoor Concert Series, which featured major pop, rock, country and jam bands.

Although there were fewer concerts than a typical season, six of the nine were sellouts.

“All in all, every show we did was a success,” Harrah’s and Harveys Director of Entertainment John Packer said.

Phish, which has a devout legion of the next generation of Grateful Dead fans, sold out its shows in about an hour. More than 9,500 attended each of the midweek concerts. The Dave Matthews Band also was a quick sellout, and the staple of the series is country music, and this year Tahoe kicked its boots with Tim McGraw, Rascal Flatts and Brad Paisley, whose tour included 11 18-wheelers full of stage equipment.

While about 12 shows are featured most summers, there were fewer because of “routing,” an industry term for band tours.

“In the first three weeks of August there was nothing happening out West,” Packer said.

The modern-day concert series began in 2002 when Harrah’s acquired Harveys. There were five shows in 2002, 11 in 2003. Concert promoters Another Planet Entertainment began booking the Tahoe shows in 2005, hiring major acts including Steely Dan, Stevie Wonder, the Eagles and Elton John, who was paid “in the neighborhood” of $1 million, Packer said.

Tahoe’s outdoor concert series is very short because there is a chance of snow all the way into Memorial Weekend and after Labor Day it can be very cold. Promoters took a chance by presenting Journey the second week of September, but the weather was fine and more than 6,500 attended.

New this year were box suites for VIPs. Packer said some of the upper level boxes above the bleachers may be available to the public next year.

Packer also said Another Planet Entertainment was in negotiations with a major act for 2014, but he would not say who.


About Tim Parsons

Tim Parsons is the editor of Tahoe Onstage who first moved to Lake Tahoe in 1992. Before starting Tahoe Onstage in 2013, he worked for 29 years at newspapers, including the Tahoe Daily Tribune, Eureka Times-Standard and Contra Costa Times. He was the recipient of the 2011 Keeping the Blues Alive award for Journalism.

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