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Why can’t Wichita get acts?

  • Published Friday, Dec. 27, 2013, at 12 a.m.

Regarding “Arena needs variety” (Dec. 20 Eagle Editorial): I will say up front I am not a country music fan. Since Intrust Bank Arena began operating, I have attended a James Taylor concert, the recent Eagles concert, and a performance of Cirque du Soleil. I had to travel to Oklahoma City to see Coldplay and U2. I am disappointed that the arena and Cessna Stadium have not attracted big rock band acts on a regular basis.

I don’t fault SMG, the arena’s private operator, for not booking more rock acts when Wichita can’t sell out a John Mayer concert. (I could not attend because of a conflict in my schedule.) Mayer is an extremely talented and diverse performer, and the tickets should have sold themselves.

My real disappointment, as a Wichita resident, is noting that the Stiefel Theatre in Salina regularly attracts significant music (and other acts) of a non-country genre to its well-appointed but medium-sized venue. Wichita is somehow not able to attract those acts to a similar venue. It is not a real pain to drive to Salina, but why can’t we attract those acts?

I have to assume it is because we don’t sell out these kinds of acts. The Orpheum Theatre does a good job of trying to bring in diverse acts, but not all of these are well-attended.

My own anecdotal assessment is that the majority of people in Wichita are just not curious seekers of good popular culture on a broad and diverse bandwidth (and I am not condemning modern country music when I say that). That was not the case in Wichita in the not-too-distant past.

M. DUANE COYLE

Wichita

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