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After Michael Bolton: What's Next?

Town officials and the promoter are still mum on the number of tickets sold, but one estimate from a Town Councilman puts it at less than 1,000. The town needed more than 5,000 to break even.

Some Patch users say First Selectman Herbst never should have chosen Michael Bolton. But the town needed to continue its summer concert tradition.

Herbst's cancellation of the concert was the responsible thing to do, and the economy and Pres. Barack Obama are to blame, according to others. 

These have been some of the reactions to the weekend's announcement that the town's annual summer concert was cancelled for the second year in a row. Last year, it was Hurricane Irene, which also delayed school opening and knocked out power to some sections of town for as long as a week.

This year, it was the possibility of losing as much as $190,000. So far, town officials and the promoter have not said how many tickets were sold.

Now, many questions have been raised. How much will the town pay for the cancellation? What will it do next year? Who will fund it, whether it be Trumbull Day, a concert, or both? Who will choose the act if there is another concert? 

Herbst was not available on Monday and Recreation Director Mary Markham declined to comment.

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But three town officials chimed in:

  • Town Councilman Jim Meisner: "I agree with Tim that having the town do this is probably not the right idea. Local businesses should sponsor this. I would use the highly successful Westport Blues, Views and BBQ Festival as a model. It was packed once again this year. The event is sponsored by Westport merchants but much of the organizing and labor is by volunteers. Last year, our annual summer concert was canceled in light of Hurricane Irene. We were fortunate that this concert was canceled due to the weather. The Finance Director has calculated that we would have lost $207,780 if the concert proceeded last year. This year, the Town would have lost $190,000 if the concert proceeded. As First Selectman of the Town of Trumbull, I cannot in good conscience allow the Town to be exposed to this type of financial risk."
  • Board of Finance Member Andrew Palo: "The Bolton artist offer sheet does not talk about cancellation fees. In the terms section it does have the word 'Guantantee' next to the $60,000 amount. There is mention of addendums, but these were not provided to the BOF. At this point, I do not know how much the Town is at risk. It could be nothing, it could be $60,000. I'm sure the First Selectman has a good idea and hope he could answer after my posts. We have a BOF meeting on September 24th and I'm sure this topic will be discussed."
  • Board of Education member Tom Kelly: "Let me first give credit to Mr. Herbst for releasing a press release which didn't try to blame the cancellation on the weather or something else beyond the First Selectman's control." Go here for the rest of Kelly's response.

Other opinions used colorful language to criticize Bolton's singing, adding that a more popular artist should have been chosen.

Another Patch user, Tim Hendrie, supported the decision to cancel.

"I think this was a wise and adult decision made by Mr. Herbst. I appreciate his concern for the tax payers of Trumbull. If anybody deserves derision it is Mr. Obama for presiding over a stagnant national economy," he said.

Then user "Don" pointed out, "You cannot praise the man for cancelling this event without recognizing the he was a large part of the initial decision to move forward with Bolton in the first place." 

Trumbull Gal September 18, 2012 at 11:06 AM
Bottom line, for two years in a row Trumbull taxpayers will have spent money for two concerts NOT HELD. Just hoping that we did not have to obtain another "legal opinion" to make this year's cancellation decision!
fairfield newcomer September 18, 2012 at 11:38 AM
The author says the economy and Obama are to blame, what won't the right blame on Obama, is global warming is his fault, what else will the author pin on him?
Aaron Leo (Editor) September 18, 2012 at 11:57 AM
I should clarify that the Obama statement came from someone else, not from me.
HL September 18, 2012 at 12:23 PM
1. At this point, we no longer have a "summer concert tradition", unless that tradition is announcing and cancelling one. 2. I am still befuddled by the choice of Michael Bolton from our leaders. While the majority of my friends and acquiantances are in the 30-50 age range, I haven't spoken to one person yet who was not annoyed by that particular selection. 3. I'd like to give some credit to Tim for admitting the reason for cancellation was that this was a bad choice and on track to be a small financial disaster. Although the original plan was a bad one, it was the right move to minimize the damage (and be honest about it).
Juan Ayala September 18, 2012 at 01:00 PM
This town has a ridiculous amount of musical talent in the student body. Would it be such a bad idea to have a talent show or a revue of some kind where Trumbull students and residents perform at the concert? Just an idea. I've gone to and participated in many revues that raise money because of the students' support.
Thomas Tesoro September 18, 2012 at 02:53 PM
I commented in the original thread on this subject proposing an approach that would restore Trumbull Day, allow us to have a concert and get the taxpayers out of these two events. Tom Tesoro
Tim Hendrie September 18, 2012 at 04:25 PM
I stand by my Obama comment. I've had enough trickle down Poverty.
louis September 18, 2012 at 04:51 PM
Ok, fellas, now that we have 'official' people writting in, lets end this controversy and prove that you guys are managing the peoples government and the peoples property effectively: Someone post the numbers, we shouldn't have to FOI it, you guys are on our side right? How much were the costs of the one night performance at the pre existing open air 'bandshell'? Security, insurance, performers fees, etc. How many tickets were sold, what were gate receipts? How many were expected to sell in the week before, and for walkins? I assume the people would have been allowed to park nearby.....how much is made off of concessions each year? What is Rutigliano's takehome? Lets prove to the people who vote for you folks every single election, that they know what they are doing....
louis September 18, 2012 at 04:53 PM
Town councilmen seem to know the numbers....anyone from quality street....go-on...lets get to the brass tacks...
Tim Hendrie September 18, 2012 at 06:39 PM
Let the sunshine in.
Kathleen McGannon September 18, 2012 at 07:32 PM
I guess WEBE 108 needed to find some other prize since the concert was cancelled. They were giving 2 tickets and a private "meet and greet" with Michael Bolton as consolation prizes in their "Five question quiz" contest. Today, they gave out 2 tickets to Bowtie Cinema. Oh well.
louis September 18, 2012 at 09:50 PM
When average voters in Trumbull get on the ballots and knock these bums out of office...oh well
Bob September 28, 2012 at 12:10 AM
As Michael Bolton would say: "How can we be lovers if we can't be friends How can we start over when the fighting never ends Baby, how can we make love if we can't make amends How we can be lovers if we can't be, Can't be friends"
Joe September 28, 2012 at 12:36 AM
Bob, you're not getting a dime out me after that song. I'm way past broke after this concert fiasco, but thanks for the laugh.

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