Should the New York State Fair replace the Grandstand?
Mon, 02 Sep 2013 22:11:23 GMT —
When it comes to attendance, the New York State Fair counts on two major factors - weather and concerts. The weather held up reasonably well in 2013 but the main 17,000 seat grandstand stage was dark on multiple nights. Country music star Luke Bryan was the only act to fill the seats. On Monday, many music fans say they would be more likely to come out to a show - and the fair - if the awkward grandstand was replaced with a more appealing option .
"The acoustics are horrible on it and there's no wrap around too it. There's no real way to focus on the artist that there. So from that perspective it does not cater to a music venue," said Syracuse musician Jeremiah Long.
Long and several other music fans said they like the idea of turning the fair's infield parking area into a small amphitheater similar to those in Canandaigua and Saratoga. Those venues are considered a more comfortable setting for the performers and the audience.
State Fair assistant director Troy Waffner says New York has talked about replacing the grandstand but it is only one of many factors that are evaluated every year. Waffner says there has been talk of an amphitheater setting but improvements or changes to the grandstand would likely be made as part of a five, ten or fifteen year improvement plan.
"The grandstand was built in 1972 so sooner or later the idea will come up - what are you going to do with the grandstand? So it's one of the ideas being looked at," said Waffner.
Many younger music fans say the poor acoustics and views of the stage keep them from attending concerts at the grandstand now. Syracuse musician Brian Brister said he believes a better venue could bring in more people and bigger music stars.
"They don't want to become great artists to sing in a place that makes them look like a bad artist. So if we give them a place that enhances who they are, I think it's going to help them out a lot," said Brister.