Archive for Wednesday, April 4, 2001

Sandstone gearing up for 2001 season

April 4, 2001

Scott Summers, Bonner Springs Chieftain

Most people would probably agree with the old expression that time flies when you're having fun.

In the case of Sandstone Amphitheatre in Bonner Springs, it's tickets that fly when people are having fun.

Christianne Miles, the theater manager at Sandstone, said she expects tickets to go quickly for some of this year's concerts, much as they have for big-name shows in past seasons. Miles said the fastest she can remember a concert selling out was a couple years ago when the popular boy band N'Sync appeared at the Bonner Springs venue. At the time, hungry fans swallowed up the 18,000 tickets in just over an hour.

Officials at Sandstone announced the first handful of concerts for its 2001 Pepsi Concert Series at a press conference last week. The events will feature Styx, Bad Company, The Charlie Daniels Band, Black Sabbath, Marilyn Manson, Brooks and Dunn, Toby Keith, Rod Stewart and James Taylor.

More concerts for the 2001 season will be announced in the upcoming weeks when final negotiations are completed between SFX Entertainment and the artists.

"The number and quality of shows have dramatically increased over the seasons," Miles said.

In past years, Sandstone has played host to artists from Britney Spears to Elton John, Tim McGraw to KISS and Faith Hill to Lord of the Dance. Miles said variety has been one of Sandstone's keys to success.

"We appeal to a very wide demographic of age ranges," Miles said.

Miles said the people in charge at Sandstone have attempted to think of all the possible amenities at concertgoers might want. Sandstone, which is near the intersection of Kansas Highway 7 and Interstate 70, has three large concession plazas with six stands in each plaza, recently renovated restrooms and VIP Star boxes.

"Our ultimate goal here at Sandstone is to provide a quality entertainment venue where you can come have a good time and enjoy the music in a relaxing atmosphere," Miles said.

Sandstone, which has offers about 6,700 reserve seats and 11,300 lawn seats, appeals to musical artists on tour for many reasons, Miles said. The amphitheatre's central location, green rooms and atmosphere backstage make crew members and artists feel welcome. In addition, Miles said bands enjoy top-of-the-line catering before performances, which means Sandstone sends groups away well-fed.

Despite all attempts to plan for everything that could possibly go wrong, Miles said there is an occasional glitch most often the weather. Sandstone, an outdoor venue, does allow umbrellas on a show-by-show basis. Otherwise, people are encouraged to wear rain ponchos because the show usually will go on as scheduled.

"Always be prepared for the unexpected," Miles said.

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