Eastover co-owners save outdoor rock festival

Thursday September 6, 2012

LENOX -- The BerkshireStock outdoor rock festival, a two-day event slated for Eastover Resort on the weekend of Sept. 15, is now under the management of the hotel's co-owner, Yingxing Wang, who confirmed on Wed nesday that the party is on.

In order to finance up-front expenses and supervise logistics for the concert that could attract anywhere from 2,000 to 5,000 people, according to her prediction, the original organizer and promoter, Michael Sayers of Stock bridge, is now helping her.

The festival had been in jeopardy after Sayers ran out of money last week and indicated he would have to cancel it.

Wang told The Eagle on Wednes day that Berkshire Stock, modeled on the famed 1969 Wood stock festival in Bethel, N.Y., is now being funded and organized entirely by Eastover. On Wednesday, land was being cleared and electrical lines were being extended to the natural outdoor ampitheater at the foot of the hill where the sprawling resort is located.

Eastover will spend more than $100,000 on site preparation, a high-power electrical transformer, the stage, the backline required by the bands (sound and lighting equipment as well as other facilities), and other logistics, Wang said.

More than 30 local and regional bands which have confirmed arrangements dir ectly with Eastover are on the lineup.

Wang explained that she delayed giving the official green light for the festival until Wednesday because "since we just took it over, I wanted to make sure we had the stage, the backline. I didn't want to confirm until all these things are set."

As for Sayers' role, Wang described the promoter who came up with the idea as "a very honest, hard-working guy and he continues to help, but now we are taking over all of the operations, everything."

Tickets for the Berkshire Stock two-day festival are $50 per person, with an additional $20 fee for concertgoers bringing an RV or camper for an overnight stay. Reser vations are required for camping, said Wang, noting that there's space for about 50. So far, 20 campers and RVs have booked locations.

Local food vendors will be on site; Budweiser, a sponsor, will sell beer. Soft drinks, water and blankets will be available.

Wang said she was not sure how many tickets have been sold, since some participating bands have been marketing them directly to members of the public.

A portion of the proceeds from ticket sales may help fund a recording studio for local artists in an existing building on the Eastover property, Wang said.

Under the previous arr angement, Sayers was expecting to use a portion of the revenue to reconstruct the well-known Shaggy Dog recording studio on its Stockbridge property where he resides as a caretaker. But that plan has now gone by the wayside.

Wang said "probably we'll see if we can find a place on the premises that he can use to achieve what he wants to achieve. We will be looking into that. Over the long term, probably it would be great for Eastover. But of course that's a whole new, different business where we have no expertise. We will continue to talk to Mike."

"Everything is perfect," said Sayers on Wednesday when contacted for comment. "Ying took on the party as planned, the only difference is the Shaggy Dog, but there's always next year."

He told The Eagle he has worked out an arrangement with Eastover for a portion of the revenue from the event, noting that he had spent about $12,000 from his own resources for advance preparation, including $2,800 for flyers alone.

Sayers had been hoping to use funds from advance ticket sales to cover expenses and to book nationally known headliner bands. But he had underestimated expenses, Wang said, citing sound board and lighting equipment that alone could cost $50,000.

"It's not a backyard party," she said.

Private security will be hired and the services of local police or Berkshire County Sheriff's units will be sought for traffic control at the East Street entrances to the resort.

"We have a very short time, 10 days, to pull this all together," said Wang when asked if she hopes to break even on the festival. "Now we have learned a lot and a big event like this should be planned far ahead."

But she decided to go ahead with the festival "because we got a lot of local bands involved and I don't want the enthusiasm to die. I think a lot of the local bands appreciate the opportunity to come together and play on such an incredible site."

Additional information and ticket purchase details are available at eastover.com. Thursday September 6, 2012

Scheduled bands

(As of Wednesday)

Left Hand Blue, The Anchors, Sludge Factory, Clover, Stairwell Sea, Whiskey City, Sugar Red Drive, White Trash, A Fate Forgotten, Cover Me, Noumenon, T-Bone Daddy, On the Fly, Triple XXX, Static, Hydroelectric, Ghost of Vigoda, Exo Vox, The Matchstick Architects, The Arthur Holmes Blues Band, Disquiet, HIXX, Mountain Breeze, Blue Light Trio, For No One.

Source: Eastover Resort Thursday September 6, 2012

If you go

What: BerkshireStock outdoor rock festival, featuring 30-plus local and regional bands.

When: Saturday, Sept. 15, and Sunday, Sept. 16, 9 a.m. to late evening both days. Overnight camping available by reservation.

Where: Eastover Resort, 430 East St., Lenox.

How: Ticket details and additional information is available at www.eastover.com.

Source: Eastover Resort.


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