Thanks to the generous support of title sponsor, PNC Bank, Fountain Square was alive with music and people all summer long!
While exact attendance is impossible to report on a public space, we can offer the following estimates to support the success of the PNC Summer Music Series.
* 85 Concerts were held on the Square.
* Overall attendance at the PNC Summer Music Series on Fountain Square is estimated at 50,000.*
* About 225 volunteers contributed 1,020 hours to the Music Series. Volunteers sell beer and soft drinks and work for tips. Groups who contributed their time included Enjoy the Arts, Big Brothers Big Sisters, the Michael W. Bany Scholarship Fund and others.
* “Salsa Night” (Thursdays) showed the most growth, starting with dozens of attendees the first week and quickly growing to crowds of 400-500 by the end of the season. Salsa included dance lessons, which were very popular.
* “Smooth Sunday”, a night of soul and R&B on the Square, was also new and grew in popularity as the summer went on. On the Sundays before and after the July NAACP Convention, the concerts drew about 1,000 people.
* Beer and soft drink revenues were up 400% over the year before. Money raised through beer and pop sales go right back into creating new events and programming on the Square, such as “Saturday Night at the Movies” which is currently without a sponsor.
* Between Memorial Day and Labor Day, revenue in the Fountain Square Garage was up 70% compared to 2007.
* Traffic to the Fountain Square website (www.myfountainsquare.com) was up 40% this summer compared to last summer.
*Attendance estimate is for PNC Summer Concert Series only and does not include “Saturday Night at the Movies” or Strauss and Troy Market on the Square.
What’s difficult to capture in this snapshot of statistics is the positive energy that the PNC Summer Music Series created for the Square. Add in “Saturday Night at the Movies” and this summer Fountain Square was filled with people five nights per week. This was the first full summer since the renovation of Fountain Square began in 2005 that the Square’s been clear of any construction and fully open for business.
“We continue to receive positive feedback about the concert series and the activity it brought to the Square and the surrounding businesses,” said S. Kay Geiger, president of PNC Bank, Ohio/Northern Kentucky region. “The overwhelming success of the PNC Summer Music Series is testament to the fact that downtown Cincinnati is thriving and people are eager for opportunities to enjoy entertainment in the city center. We are certainly proud to be part of such a successful series.”
The “PNC Summer Music Series on Fountain Square” was supposed to end Sunday Aug. 31, but some of the concerts were extended because they were so popular.
“Salsa on the Square” received additional sponsorship from Gain, a Procter & Gamble brand, and was extended two weeks, with the final Salsa of the summer on Sept. 16. Because of its success plans are already in place to extend Salsa Night one hour next summer, from 7-10 pm and schedule it through September.
“Gospel Saturday” also ran over two weeks and ended Sept. 13. “Smooth Sunday” went one week over, ending Sept. 7. In all, the PNC Summer Music Series featured live music on the Square four nights and two afternoons every week from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
The weekly music lineup featured blues and country, acoustic, salsa, independent rock, an open mic session, gospel and soul and R&B.
“We were expecting a great season, but this went even better that we had anticipated,” said Bill Donabedian, managing director of Fountain Square. “We offered something for everyone and everyone came! Each week the crowds got bigger and you could just feel the energy building. This success can be directly attributed to our title sponsor, PNC Bank and all the presenting sponsors. Without their support this could not have happened.”
In addition to title sponsor PNC Bank, other presenting sponsors for the summer-long music series included Coke, Budweiser, Procter & Gamble with special thanks to the following brands; Pantene, Herbal Essences, Tampax and Gain and Keating Muething and Klekamp, PLL.
Sponsors are critical to programming successful events on Fountain Square. Other key sponsors who contributed to a successful summer concert season include Guinness, Sam Ash, which sponsored the tent and lights for the stage as well as media sponsors, Rebel 105.9FM, My 64, CityBeat, WNKU 89.7FM, Pulse, Channel 9, Fox 19, Wiz, Mojo, Buzz and The Cincinnati Herald.
“We cannot thank our sponsors enough for their generous support,” said Donabedian. “Because of them and some great music, we’re off to a great start and our goal next year will be to build on the success we’ve had this summer and make it bigger and better in 2009.”