Saving Jane becomes the first band to play on the new permanent stage at Columbus Crew Stadium on March 29th, 2008. They teased their hit single "Girl Next Door" at half time of the Crew/Toronto match (above) and then did a full set post game.
Cover spoke with Ryan Smith, Columbus Crew Senior Director of Event Management, and Gary Spivack of Right Arm Entertainment about this year's Rock on the Range event at Columbus Crew Stadium. Next month Cover will be talking to some of the bands that will be participating in the show(s).
How do you think last year went?
Gary: Last year was everything we wanted it to be. There were some "1st year kinks" but those kinks have been quickly and easily fixed, improved and modified to make Rock On The Range 2008 even better. We sold-out last year's Rock On The Range and we are very proud of that fact.
Ryan: Last year’s show went very well. We learned a lot in the first year and made some changes to improve the experience for the fans. We were focused on improving the talent and at the same time, keeping the ticket price affordable for the fans. Currently, we are tracking better then last year, so we expect both days to sell out in advance.
How did this year's lineup come together?
Gary: This year's lineup started the very second the final note from Billy of ZZ Top's guitar sounded at last year's Rock On The Range, many will say, even before that. Rock On The Range is a full-time 24/7, 12 months a year job.
Was there a band that started it all and you worked from there or was
it more pieced together than that?
Gary: I have been friends and peers of the Stone Temple Pilots for two decades and have tremendous respect for that band. When we saw Scott Weiland on stage with Velvet Revolver at the 1st Rock On The range..we just knew we had to have Scott return with his Stone Temple Pilot mates. The other piece of the puzzle was both Kid Rock and 3 Doors Down. Those were our top three bands from the get-go and after we were able to confirm STP, 3DD and Kid Rock the rest of the pieces began coming together.
Is the new stage coming along as you thought it would?
Ryan: The new stage is coming along very well and looks great. The project will be completed around April 15th, just in time for Rock on the Range. We are pleased to host our first show this weekend, when we will have a post-game concert featuring Saving Jane as the first artist to play on the new stage.
Other than the new stage, how will the layout of the show be compared
to last year?
Gary: Rock On The Range '08 will SO much more going on this year. Aside from the 28 bands over two days ROTR will have a "FYE Band Tent" where a fan can purchase the latest CD/DVD from the ROTR bands and many performing bands will be in the tent to sign autographs and do special meet&greets. We will also have a unique ROTR Vendor Village set up along with a PlayStation truck and other lifestyle vendors to compliment the overall festival experience.
Where would you eventually like to see the show go? Stay a two day
event? expand to a whole weekend(three days)? maybe a two weekend event? etc.
Ryan: Eventually increased capacity over two days, maybe Friday night for a few hours, but not a full 3 day festival.
Gary: First and foremost, we want Rock On The Range to always be "the people's concert". This festival is for the true ROCK fan. No gimmicks, no over the top goofy ideas, just a straight ahead rock festival. We want to grow Rock On The Range to be the rock festival leader for all of North America. But at the same time we want to make sure our ticket prices are fair and not overpriced while at the same time giving the rock fan the best concert experience possible.
What do you think it means for Crew Stadium to be known as the first soccer specific stadium and now as the venue for large outdoor shows in Central Ohio ?
Ryan: We have always viewed ourselves as an entertainment venue. We want to set the standard for every event we do, whether that be a Crew Soccer game or a Dave Matthew’s Band concert. We hope the fans, as well as the artists enjoy their experience at Crew Stadium. With Germain Amphitheater closing its doors, we feel our investment into the Stadium can fill the void for the Columbus Concert fans.
Thanks to Ryan and Gary for your time and answers. We are looking forward to
this year's show. Last year's event was a lot of fun and I don't see why this
year would be any different.