If you've taken in even one of the free concerts in the Santa Fe Railyard in the last two years, know that such events aren't exactly cheap to produce. Oh sure, we've basically decided as a society that paying for music at all times is a bridge too far—but for those who call making it their job, they like making money and stuff.
So how does AMP Concerts, the production company who books the shows, pay for this stuff? Through a matching $25,000 Levitt Amp Grant from Los Angeles' Levitt Foundation (the "amp" in both orgs' names is a mere coincidence), that's how. AMP has won the grant the last two years running—it's how we've seen bands like The Jayhawks, Meat Puppets, Metalachi, DeVotchKa, La Chamba and the Santa Fe Salutes tributes to David Bowie and Tom Petty. But in order to win the bucks and produce another fine season of programming, AMP Concerts needs those votes.
From now until Tuesday Nov. 20 at 6 pm MST, people can visit the Levitt Amp site to vote for AMP Concerts. At the time of this writing, they're in fifth place among 50 other cities with similar programs (and 10 will win), though Jamie Lenfestey, the head of AMP's Santa Fe office, tells SFR that doesn't mean it's a done deal.
"What happens is that everybody pushes at the end and it gets really tight," Lenfestey says. "My fear right now is that we're peaking early, and we don't want people to look at that and get complacent."
And what of the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come/bleak ending wherein the grant doesn't come through? Lenfestey says it won't be all doom and gloom, but it would significantly cut down their budget and, thus, access to bigger-name bands.
"We couldn't reach as far to bring the quality," Lenfestey explains. "It's been a big thing for us."
So vote, Santa Fe. It requires a brief registration and takes, like, two minutes, but we believe in you—and not just because our state went awesomely blue last week, but because we also want to go to free shows with cool bands.