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H/M tax board OKs entertainment funding

Committee requests $25,000 for RAGBRAI concert events

April 12, 2012
Anne Blankenship - Managing Editor ( , The Daily Freeman Journal

The three-person committee heading up the entertainment for the RAGBRAI overnight stop in Webster City met with the Hotel/Motel Tax Board Wednesday night to request funding for the events planned.

Kent Bailey, chairman of the committee, Carrie Olson and Tyler Abens requested $25,000 from the board as matching funds to help pay for a concert and other planned entertainment. About 20,000 cyclists who will spend the night in Webster City July 24. Abens told the board that the Webster City Chamber of Commerce has pledged $25,000 to the events, for a total budget of $50,000 for entertainment.

Abens said the budget included $30,000 for a headlining act, more than $7,000 in production and equipment costs, and fees for opening acts and other entertainment throughout the day. The performance stage is provided at no cost by RAGBRAI, he said.

Article Photos

Tyler Abens talks to the Hotel/Motel Tax Board Wednesday about entertainment plans for RAGBRAI.

"In a meeting that I was at, T.J., the director of RAGBRAI, said that quality entertainment is a direct correlation with the results that we will have with the beverage garden, food garden and vendors," Bailey said. "If you have a great entertainment line up, there's probably going to be great results all around."

"It's been 30 years since RAGBRAI has come to town, and we want to make this memorable for all the riders as well as our residents," he said.

While the committee was unwilling to disclose the name of the headlining act, Olson did give some information about the band.

"Our main focus has been what is best for Webster City through this process," she said. "What will bring people into the community?"

Olson said the committee had worked closely with USA Entertainment Agency to locate a headliner.

"We've agreed on a headlining band, but no contract has been signed," she said.

Olson said the band was a classic 1970s rock band with four original members.

"The band has 21 Top-40 hits, three No. 1 singles, and 11 Top-10 hits," she said.

She added that the band had definite name recognition and that people of all generations should recognize some of their hit songs.

Abens talked about his past experiences on RAGBRAI. Though often unable to ride the entire route, he has ridden one or two days of the route. He said he looks at the schedule to see the entertainment planned.

"That's how I planned when I would ride, depending upon on the band that was playing," he said.

Board member Jack Foster made the motion to approve the request and the funding was unanimously approved.

From here, the funding request moves on to the City Council Monday night for final approval.



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