Which amphitheater events are suitable for locally brewed craft beer? How do you decide whether or not to attend?

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Saturday’s Celts on the River concert was the biggest summertime event so far this year at New Albany’s Riverfront Amphitheater, but bookings of music and entertainment continue well into September, just prior to Harvest Homecoming. As most of you know, to coordinate these bookings, and to tend to other details at the amphitheater, the mayor appointed a committee. They’ve contributed much hard work, and should be thanked for their efforts.

Speaking in public comments here yesterday in her official capacity as Chairperson of the New Albany Riverfront Amphitheater, Shelle England asked me:

“When (is) the New Albanian team … available for Friday and Saturday events at the Amphitheater?”

She added:

“We are committed to supporting our locally owned businesses (by) giving them the opportunity to be present at the New Albany Riverfront Amphitheater. All performers and vendors are scheduled through the Riverfront Amphitheater Committee, so we are ready to add the New Albanian to our calendar, which contains performances through September.”

Heartened and encouraged, I immediately apologized for any misconceptions that may have occurred, such as my naive assumption that NABC’s volunteering to contribute a percentage of event profits to the amphitheater’s upkeep as part of a transparent and comprehensive annual vendor selection process might be viewed as progressive and desirable, given the mayoral imperative in place to stage “free” events that nonetheless incur expenses in preparation, cleaning, mowing and the like:

“It had been my understanding that the committee generally has ruled autonomously as to which of its amphitheater bookings are appropriate for “regular” catering choices and which ones are not, even if this duality of formula has remained obscure, and that the committee would be suggesting selected bookings suitable for our future vending presence. Consequently, I will touch base again with NABC’s team members to collect their opinions about events suitable for craft beer.”

I want your opinions, too.

Readers, can you help me identify those amphitheater events suitable for locally brewed craft beer, as opposed to the ones where just regular beer will do? How do you differentiate? We can sell beer at some, not all. I believe that locally brewed craft beer goes well with jazz, alternative, classical, blues, country, rock and oom-pah; with theatrical, musical and spoken-word productions; and on all public holidays except Christmas, when the state of Indiana refuses to allow alcohol sales.

Here is a link for you to peruse: 2010 Schedule.

Moreover, given that musical styles, weather and personal scheduling will remain the most important factors in your decision to attend events at the amphitheater, how important is the availability of good beer when you make such decisions? If locally brewed craft beer is pouring for these events, would it make you more likely to attend? What about other food and drink: Would you like to see rotating “food court” vending choices, or are you satisfied with a smaller number of providers?

Thanks for your input. Transparency in public dialogue is infinitely more productive than opaqueness, don’t you think?

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