Kettering OKs $3M for Fraze Pavilion business entertainment deals; more than 10 concerts set

Earlier Tuesday, the city’s 4,300-seat outdoor music venue announced two shows, including a June 15 performance by Joey Fatone of NSYNC and the Backstreet Boys’ AJ McLean.

Eleven concerts are among the 13 events listed on the Fraze’s website. They include The Beach Boys on July 1 and Grammy Award-winning rapper Chris “Ludacris” Bridges July 18, a date which is sold out.

A July 20 concert will feature Rick Springfield and Richard Marx, while Joe Bonamassa is set for an Aug. 20 show.

Kettering Assistant City Manager Steve Bergstresser said the city is estimating a budget of about $2.8 million “to actually contract and have performers” for this year’s season, a similar figure to 2023.

The Fraze has operating costs projected at $6 million this year, although those costs have not exceeded $5 million in either of the past two years.

Also approved Tuesday night was $80,000 budgeted for music licensing fees to the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, and Broadcast Music Inc.

The city approved a plan last month to spend up to $70,000 to hire a consultant for a study that the city is targeting for completion this summer, Mary Beth O’Dell, Kettering parks, recreation and cultural art director, has said.

The city has done infrastructure studies and several surveys since the Fraze opened in 1991, but this one will be “extensive” involving focus groups and cost analysis, she added.

The study will include other regional outdoor music venues with similar seating capacity.

Larger concert crowds in 2023 boosted the Fraze’s bottom line in 2023 as Kettering slashed expenses and subsidies for the outdoor venue.

The Fraze’s average attendance was more than 2,400 for ticketed events – about 300 higher than the previous year – as it closed the revenue/expense gap by about $440,000, according to the city.

Last year’s lineup featured fewer events and ticketed shows, but the vast majority of those who paid to see performances gave the pavilion high marks, survey results showed.

Traditionally, Kettering targets an operating loss of $300,000. Expenses for 2022 were about $800,000 more than revenues, but last year that difference was about $361,000, Kettering records show.

The 2023 season featured 23 ticketed events — seven fewer than 2022 — that brought in about $2.3 million, nearly two-thirds of the Fraze’s revenue.

You may also like...