Suggestion for the brain trust at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway: If your goal is to milk/mine more admissions and concessions during May with all the new gimmickry; e.g., grand prix, etc., when will you get serious about the entertainment offered? 38 Special would have been outstanding in 1982. Perhaps because it has been about 33 years since their last hit there is some significance. Come on. 38 Special is an act better suited for the 8 Seconds Saloon down Lynhurst a bit. Not the centerpiece of Carb Day. Please tell us it is just the opening act.
Is the problem a lack of money? Jesus H. Christ. Are you at least getting an AARP discount? If you want to make May relevant to millennials and even their parents perhaps you should look toward a relative newcomer event for inspiration at making May a special month for hundreds of thousands of people over each weekend. Once upon a time Memphis in May was a humble weekend invitational barbecue cook-off that began attracting barbecue aficionados from all over the world. It is now the ‘Indy 500’/’Super Bowl’ of the barbecue world. Different activities occur each weekend of the month. In just three days the first weekend of May the following actS (plural) are featured this year:
Lenny Kravitz, Ed Sheeran, John Fogerty, The Avett Brothers, Hozier, Paramore, Five Finger Death Punch, Wilco, Pixies, The Flaming Lips, Cage the Elephant, Ryan Adams, Rise Against, Band of Horses, St. Vincent, Slash, Awolnation, Breaking Benjamin, Bleachers, Wale, Flogging Molly, Lindsey Stirling, G-Eazy, Jenny Lewis, George Clinton & Parliament/Funkadelic, Kaiser Chiefs, Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band, Of Mice and Men, Bela Fleck & Abigail Washburn, Lecrae, Spin Doctors, Myslovitz, Big Head Todd & The Monsters, In This Moment, Shovels and Rope, Scott Weiland and the Wildabouts, Soul Asylum, Robert Randolph & The Family Band, Betty Lavette, Diarrhea Planet, Savoy Brown, Elle King, Ana Popovic, Alejandro Escovedo, Star & Micey, Tinsley Ellis, The Vespers, Dead Soldiers, Lurrie Bell, Indigienous, Will Tucker, Matthew Curry, Prosevere, Preston Shannon, Kenny Brown, Ira Walker, Ghost Town Blues Band, Copeland, and Kelley Hunt.
These acts literally represent something for everyone. All genres. And all in three days. And most contemporary and non-octogenarian. Seriously, IMS is hanging its hat on 38 Special? LOL. IMS should take lessons. Better yet why not consider an oft-suggested idea I have bantered in the past. The race track west of Memphis would be an ideal place to have an oval race. There is a really nice, flat-ish, SAFR-equipped track that is not owned by either ISC or SMI just sitting there waiting for a main event. Why not get them to incorporate a big race early in the month if nothing else to cross-promote the other May main event? Oh I know, the oval-averse miscreants bending the ear of Miles these days are likely to consider ovals only as a last possible resort but it is worth a shot (Side rant: The excuse the road racers toss out there is ‘ovals are just not popular any more.’ Rubbish. Try presenting one professionally for a change and watch 50K or 60K show up reliably.). Even if you do not do that you need at least three high profile, currently relevant musical acts. Book acts that are hot today. Not hot thirty years ago. I would also avoid the rap crap. The chance of too many bad things happening with those types of acts is too great to risk. Besides, as evidenced by the Memphis list there are plenty of better choices. 38 Special will attract almost zero millennials.
Or, you could continue to vastly underwhelm, minimize profit some more and invite criticism from those of us legacy fans reduced to simply shaking our head in either disbelief or disgust. What a shame.