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Bluegrass Jam a great match for Lake Placid

October 24, 2014
Editorial , Lake Placid News

We're excited that the state Olympic Regional Development Authority is re-entering the music business with the Lake Placid Bluegrass Jam this Saturday in the Olympic Center's 1932 Rink.

It's surprising how often we hear people say their first introduction to Lake Placid was for a concert at the Olympic Center. It could have been the New Kids on the Block, Alan Jackson, Bryan Adams or Phish; the wide range of shows the facility hosted in the 1980s and '90s drew all kinds of people, many of whom wouldn't have come here for a summer vacation or ski weekend.

In all likelihood, they enjoyed the scenic drive up here and the beautiful vistas from the village - there's a particularly nice view of the High Peaks from right near the Olympic Center box office. They may well have been pleasantly surprised by the range of shopping on Main Street and the variety of restaurants. It almost certainly gave them a positive impression of the place, and some of them returned for vacations - or even to move here, like our senior sports writer, Lou Reuter (Grateful Dead, Oct. 17, 1983).

Concerts are also great for North Country residents who love music and otherwise have to drive to Saratoga Springs, Montreal or Burlington to see a big-name act in concert. Especially in slow times of year for tourism, like now, concerts provide a nice boost for Lake Placid businesses.

What killed the Olympic Center concerts was a combination of the changing music business - with artists making less money on music sales, they tend to demand more for concerts - and a diminishing local tolerance for drugs brought in by concertgoers. Bluegrass music, however, is pretty cooperative on both of those counts: Its acts tend to be less expensive than pop performers, especially at this time of year, which is in between seasons for them, and the fans who follow bluegrass musicians aren't usually the type who keep the village police busy with alcohol- and drug-related arrests.

Therefore, bluegrass is a perfect re-entry point for ORDA into the concert business. If a good crowd comes out Saturday, that might open the door for other types of concerts in the future.

The lineup looks phenomenal. The music should be wonderful, and we strongly urge you to buy a ticket and attend if you have any inclination toward bluegrass.



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