Thursday, March 19, 2015

Behind-the-Scenes: Making the Show Happen

How far out does the BancorpSouth Arena begin planning an event?
It depends on the event – we’re working on shows 24-36 months in the future while also booking events as little as six weeks out.

What is the process of booking an artist/act?
Again, it’s a mix of both.  We’re constantly in contact with promoters and agents, reminding them of our success stories and letting them know the different configurations that we can utilize within the confines of the arena (anything from an intimate 1,800 seats to a full arena of 9,000+).  Occasionally they call us first, but not many acts have Tupelo listed as a must-play city on their worldwide tours!

What are some of the qualities in an artist/act that you want to bring in?
As a publicly owned facility, we’re open to any promoter who wants to bring in a show (as long as it’s not illegal!). Our mission is to enhance the quality of life for the residents of Tupelo and the surrounding areas, so we try to attract a diverse lineup of performers. At the same time this is the music “business," and our promoter partners are typically most interested in shows that will turn a profit.

You bring in a variety of different acts: music, sporting events, comedians and more. Is there one type of act that everyone just loves to host?  
Each of us at the arena have different tastes in entertainment events. For the majority of us it doesn’t matter what’s on stage as long as the crowd is having a good time. That’s why we’re here.

What is the day of a show like? Walk us through the process of getting ready for the event. 
Our operations, box office, marketing, and concessions departments have been working hard long before the first truck rolls up to the building at 7AM on a show day. Our crews will unload the trucks (anywhere from 1-25 semis full of equipment), set up the gear, and then set the floor seats if applicable. Meanwhile we’ll assist the show with anything they might need locally (doctors, golf courses, gyms, laundry services, etc.). 
We’ll bring in our security and concessions crews, open the doors, and host our 9,000 guests for a memorable evening of entertainment. When the show is over we’ll pack up the gear, clean the building, and get ready to do it all over again with the next event.

Between booking an artist and the actual time they walk onto the stage what part is the busiest and most hectic?
Sometimes it’s the buildup to the ticket onsale, other times it’s the hours just before doors open for the show – each event is different.

How do you ensure show day runs like a well-oiled machine?
Practice, practice, practice. We have a great team with many years of experience. Our reputation with the touring shows is very positive and that helps make for a smooth show day. The key thing to a smooth show day is “no surprises” – we anticipate the needs of the show and make sure we’re ready for any contingency. We also make sure we’ve communicated any limitations of the facility (or the market) before the artist arrives so that they know what to expect.

How long does the usual clean up and break down after an event take?   
This also depends on many factors. Concerts can be cleaned up overnight, whereas monster truck shows, rodeos, and ice events can take a bit longer.

Are some of the events, like the Monster Trucks, a bigger clean up job than a concert?  
Absolutely. Our operations crew would tell you that it’s easier to clean dirt out of the building after the rodeo than it is to clean the tire marks off the concrete following a monster truck event. 

Does the staff take time to enjoy the shows or are things usually too hectic for that?   
We’ll usually catch 5-10 minutes of a show if we’re lucky. We all know that if we want to watch a show, we need to buy a ticket for a performance in another town!

How much of an importance is team effort in pulling off an event at the Arena?

It takes all of us working together to make this facility a success. Not only from our perspective in putting on the events, but also from the community buying tickets to what we are bringing in. Acts don’t want to play venues where they cannot be successful so the ticket-buying component is crucial!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

#MyTupelo Photo Blog

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

#MyTupelo Photo Blog

Thursday, February 5, 2015

2015 Events & Festivals Guide

Don’t Be Cruel BBQ Duel – March 13-14

Come for the food and stay for the people! The Don’t Be Cruel BBQ Duel is the premier barbeque festival in North Mississippi. Teams come from all across the nation to cook and compete with their signature BBQ.

Art Rocks Tupelo – March 17-24

Art comes in many forms and methods of expression. Art Rocks Tupelo honors the arts in a weeklong celebration that ranges in different events from art exhibits, concerts and more. The final events list will be coming out soon.

Tupelo Craft Beer Festival – March 21

The interest in craft brewing has reached an all-time high and creative new brewers are creating delicious brews every day. The Tupelo Craft Beer features more than 20 different breweries from all across the south that offer samples of their latest creations, as well as fan favorites. 

Dancing With The King – March 27-29

There is no dispute that Elvis influenced music but he also changed the landscape for dance. Celebrate the art of dance and Elvis at Dancing With The King. The three-day event features competition, lots of Elvis and more!

Tupelo Film Festival – April 16-18

Established in 2004, the Tupelo Film Festival combines a beautiful setting, Southern Hospitality and world-class film screenings.  And each year the festival brings together great films and hundreds of film fans from around the globe. As well, the festival prides itself in providing a great “quality of life” event for Tupelo and offers another element to the arts as well as advancing education in filmmaking.

Noleput Festival – April 25

The flavor of New Orleans comes to Tupelo with this day-long festival. Live music will be played, along with street vendors serving up the tastes of New Orleans, including crawfish, funnel cakes and more!

Tupelo Blue Suede Cruise – April 30-May 3

One of the coolest weekends to be in Tupelo! You’ll see classic cars driving the streets of Downtown Tupelo on their way to the Blue Suede Cruise. The festival is three days at the BancorpSouth Arena where visitors can view more than 5,000 classic cars and talk with their owner.

Dudie’s Burger Festival – May 2

Celebrate the heritage of Tupelo at the Dudie’s Burger Festival. Held at the Oren Dunn City Museum, the festival pays homage to the classic Tupelo diner, Dudie’s, and its most popular item, the Dudie Burger!

GumTree Arts Festival – May 9-10

Hosted by the GumTree Musuem of Art in Downtown Tupelo, the festival showcases the artwork of around 100 artists from all over the South and beyond. There are also street vendors, live music and so much more!

Tupelo Elvis Festival – June 4-7

Tupelo Elvis Festival is a musical celebration designed to honor Elvis Presley, Tupelo’s native son, and the impact that his music has on the world. Each year's festival features regional, national and local artists along with a Sunday Gospel Concert and a Tribute Artist Contest that serves as a preliminary round of the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest. In addition to all of the great music, the festival features a number of local food vendors, a carnival midway, pet parade, beauty pageant, 5k run, disc golf, movie poster exhibit, and much more!

Juneteenth Freedom Festival – June 20

Returning in 2015 is the Juneteenth Freedom Festival on June 20 in GumTree Park. The festival celebrates the momentous occasion that marked African-American independence from 245 years of slavery. The festival will host actives such as a Juneteenth parade, Civl Rights Heritage bus tour, 3-on-3 basketball tournament and outdoor concerts featuring many genres of music including blues, R&B, gospel and clean hip-hop. 

All American City Picnic – July 4

The biggest 4th of July celebration in North Mississippi is here in Tupelo! Join us for a day of grilling out, fun in the park and fireworks later that night. There is prime entertainment for all ages, a variety of food in the vendor food court area and fun activities for the kids.

Celebration Village – October 21-24

Celebration Village is an annual Tupelo fundraiser held in the Tupelo Furniture Market that supports the North Mississippi Sanctuary Hospice. The holiday market features three days of shopping and is comprised of vendors from all over the South that showcase their works.

Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure – October 25

Race for the Cure is a nationwide event that is organized by the Susan G. Komen North Mississippi branch. The organization is a force united by a promise to end breast cancer by funding groundbreaking research, community health & advocacy programs globally. The 5K race is an opportunity to donate and help fundraise for the charity to end put an end to breast cancer.