Ford Center Nearly Empty for 70’s Rock Act Kansas


Mega 70’s rock and roll act roared into Evansville last night for what was expected to be a vibrant and respectable crowd of fans in a new state of the art facility. What the members of Kansas faced when they took the stage was a cavernous but nearly empty stadium. Official attendance numbers are not available yet but a quick look at the seats would lead one to conclude that less than 1,000 people were willing to cough up the price of admission ($50 and up) to see this iconic band known for the platinum hits “Dust in the Wind” and “Carry on my Wayward Son”. The sparse attendance is a threat to future concerts because bands simply do not like to play before crowds that are smaller than they see at rehearsals.

Kansas at Ford

Fleetwood Mac, another monster rock and roll band of the 70’s and 80’s passed on Evansville as a stop on their current tour. Mick Fleetwood, the legendary drummer recently spoke with CCO editor Joe Wallace at his restaurant Fleetwood’s in Lahaina, Maui about Fleetwood Mac’s upcoming tour. Fleetwood, 67 described how putting on a rock and roll act is very much like running a restaurant in the sense that “one has to perform worthy of an encore every night or lose your edge”. Fleetwood also spoke about touring and the little pains that come with aging and how such things make performing difficult. “That being the case, we only choose to perform in venues that guarantee a sellout crowd” continued Fleetwood.

CCO Editor Joe Wallace, Karen Wallace, and Mick Fleetwood of Fleetwood Mac
CCO Editor Joe Wallace, Karen Wallace, and Mick Fleetwood of Fleetwood Mac


  1. I didn’t even know they were playing here until less than a week ago. They need to get the word out better.

    • Amateurs are running the City and the Ford Center. How long before Evansville is at the “Point of no Return” asks Kansas.

  2. It’s not from lack of interest that these groups have poor attendance. It’s due solely to the poor management of Venu Works. They simply are not using advertising wisely. These events should be on billboards across the city, radio and tv spots. It’s a shame that these events probably would have been attended in larger numbers if only concert goers would have known.

    In cities that Evansville is trying so hard to emulate all you have to do is drive through their main thoroughfares. Their creative advertising brings excitement and makes it obvious the entertainment they are currently offering.

  3. That crowd is a gathering of all of the part folks who support pissing away $37.5 million on a hotel. On the bright side it looks like 253 rooms would be enough for every person in attendance to get a room to themselves.

  4. “Build it (or Else) and they will come”!

    NOT! When word of this spreads in the music booking ranks,
    –the “Bands” won’t either!

    The Elitists that forced “The John” on the City need to hold a “Liar’s Contest” at “The John”–Nah, that would draw nothing but the Political AKers that are now pushing a $37+million dollar give-away,–wouldn’t pay the light bill, and the Taxpayers have heard their song “Lies and More Lies”,– ad-nauseam!

  5. Summer concerts do not draw all that well indoors to begin with. This is the perfect type of concert that should have been at Mesker.

    With proper marketing, none of which occured with this concert, I think Kansas could have expected 3-5K at the ampitheater. I didn’t even know they were playing here until last night.

    We need Mesker back as well as Larry Aiken.

  6. I didn’t know they had even played until I saw this, and it’s sad.

    I agree with the gentleman above, this would have been a PERFECT act for Mesker. Charge reasonable ticket prices, serve beer, and this concert should have filled Mesker on a beautiful summer evening.

    Having a functioning Mesker is also good advertisement for the zoo. Couples attending a concert on a Friday or Saturday night will see the zoo and be reminded they should come back the next day with the kids. Again, where is the vision? Where is the imagination? The entire City, but especially the west side, should be ashamed of the neglect of Mesker Amphitheatre.

    I still have not heard back from the Mayor about getting access to Mesker to clean it up using volunteers. I sincerely hope he calls. Something needs to be done.

  7. Carry on you golden one
    We’ll be broke when you are done
    Lay your looney head to rest
    Don’t you lie no more

  8. Im a pro musician myself, I didn’t know anything about this concert until day of show. No promo & maybe price of tickets would explain that lack of crowd..needless to say.

  9. This was not promoted by VenueWorks. It was promoted by MMA Extreme. They didn’t start advertising it until 3 weeks ago. They had a meet & greet event yesterday and today at Aztar. It cost something like $50 each to meet Tito Ortiz and Chuck Lidell. Other MMA people (Forrest Griffin) and some 3rd-teir celebrities were originally supposed to come too, but wete scrapped. They had the concert last night and are having an MMA event tonight. The guy from MMA Extreme has some learning to do.

  10. As with any event, if you don’t have great advertising, you typically don’t have a great crowds!

  11. This is no reflection on the band. The promoters of this venue should be ashamed of themselves. The author of this article had a perfect oportunity to place the blame where it belongs and failed to do so. That’s 2 two fails.
    I’m attending a SOLD OUT Kansas show tonight. The show was properly promoted and has been sold out for a month.
    Indiana should take a lession from New Jersey.

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