TSE is pleased to be working with Calitone Music of Bakersfield, California that is producing Rockin’ The Ranch, a private social distancing fundraising concert. The concert event is a fundraiser for Kern County FFA (a chapter of the Future Farmers of America).
Artists, promoters, live music venues, talent buyers, booking agencies, and production firms are all trying to adapt to the evolving state of the pandemic sweeping the world. Those involved in the music business need to practice their craft to keep them honed. For six months now, most have seen their income and performances decimated by the Covid pandemic.
While some have found refuge in virtual events, all of us involved crave the return of music concerts where artists perform to a live audience. Many are taking matters into their own hands to find creative ways to make that happen. TSE tries to bring our readers examples of such resourceful efforts to bring back music to live audiences.
It’s no secret that pandemic has decimated the livelihoods of those involved in booking, producing, and performing for live entertainment events. It’s been a string of cancellations beginning in March and continuing to this day. Everyone in the concert business is affected, from Live Nation to your local cover band.
JJ Ford, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Calitone Music decided to take matters into his own hands. He sought out an opportunity to create an event that would work within the local public health restrictions in his hometown of Bakersfield, California. Raising money for a worthy cause was part of the equation. Other parts of the equation involving performers and production were easier for a company providing such services. The final part equation was making it a private event with dinner and entertainment provided for businesses as opposed to public fans. Doing it this way would avoid the issue of reckless fan behavior often seen at other attempts at concerts during the pandemic. The Rockn’ The Ranch concert is the result of all of that effort.
Rockin’ The Ranch is a result of combining a charity with a need for fundraising, an innovative music firm that desired to practice its event production craft. Local businesses are eager to help the FFA as well as provide their stakeholders a chance to see a live concert again. In addition, country music celebrities will also participate with recorded performances for the event.
A Private Socially-Distanced Fundraising Concert
This night of dining, music and giving will take place from 5pm to 11pm on Saturday October 10th at the KB Ranch in Bakersfield, California. It’s billed as a “VIP, private socially distanced concert event that offers people a safe and fun night out during a tough and stressful time in our nation.”
Local businesses and corporations can purchase either a VIP Table or a Gold Table that seat 10 for the former or 12 for the latter. The 10 VIP tables will be private area close to the stage and will have access to the VIP artist area and will receive other perks as well. The 25 Gold Tables will include a Meet and Greet with the live artists along with other perks. All patrons will get dinner and drinks as part of their experience. The promoter will distribute a concert print magazine as part of the event.
The entertainment for the evening will be a blend of live performers mixed with acoustic video performances from famous country music artists. As you can see, this is no ordinary fundraising concert. It will take place in the middle of a 25,000 square foot horse pasture on a working ranch. It will exceed requirements from the local public health departments for mitigating the virus. For example, instead of six feet apart, the patrons at each table will be 9 feet away from patrons at other tables.
Now for the entertainment! Johnny Owens will headline the live entertainment portion of the event. Johnny is the son of Buck Owens. Buck Owens was an American musician, singer, songwriter, and band leader. He and his band, the Buckaroos, had 21 No. 1 hits on the Billboard country music charts. Buck had over 70 Billboard top 40 hit songs, sold millions of records and was the cohost of the long running television series, HEE HAW (27 years). Best known for his legendary red, white, and blue guitar his music became what was is known in country music as the “Bakersfield Sound” of country music. Dwight Yoakam followed in Buck’s footsteps as another famous “Bakersfield Sound” Country music artist.
Growing up Buck Owens’ son, Johnny was surrounded by the best of the best, musically. Once his father passed, Johnny felt it was important to keep his dad’s legacy in country music alive. He has a passion for traditional country music. Johnny Owens nears perfection performing his dad’s songs. The sweet sounds of a pedal steel guitar and fiddle, mixed with guitar twang, have proven to be a winning combination. Other entertainers performing live for the concert include Gregor Ross, JD Hardy, Joe Peters, The Appletons and Victor Sanz.
Prerecorded video performances from country music stars we all know will accompany the live performances. Those participating artists will record three songs acoustically which will be played for the audience at the concert. While the celebrity video guests have not been announced at the time I’m writing this, a little bird told me that Tracy Byrd, and Wade Hayes are among those submitting videos for the event. I’m looking forward to seeing who the other Celebrity Guests are for the event. Mixing these big names in country music with the great music performed on stage should be a really big treat for all of those who will attend the event.
While there will be no dancing at this affair, this night of good food, drinks, and great entertainment will be very welcome for those who have been suffering from cabin fever for many months. JJ and Calitone Music are creating a memorable event. Our hats are off for JJ deciding enough was enough and deciding to find something that worked.
According to JJ, “For the live music scene to come back, those of us involved in the business need to work with public health departments to focus on what we can do, rather than dwell upon what we can’t.“
TSE is happy to provide artists like Tracy Byrd for safe events taking place during this pandemic. We are looking forward to hearing how it went come October. Good luck, JJ!