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Sioux Falls Sounding Good

August 29, 2012, 10:01 PM by David Brown

Sioux Falls Sounding Good

As the month of August wraps up, Sioux Falls residents heard plenty of noise around town.

From the Sioux Empire Fair to the Arena, concerts were the event to see this past month. And with the groundbreaking of the new events center, city leaders believe they can prepare for bigger and better music acts down the line.

"It has been an exciting month as far as concerts have been concerned," Sioux Falls Convention & Visitors Bureau executive director Teri Schmidt said

Uncle Kracker was one of several artists who dropped their tour buses on the eastern edge of South Dakota. And no matter your taste in music, there's no denying his appearance is music to the ears of Sioux Falls city organizers.

"I think that's indicative of the event business we have throughout the summertime," Schmidt said. "And it kind of all came to a head here with all the concerts, but it's been very exceptional."

Schmidt says from Uncle Kracker to Styx to Bob Dylan, Sioux Falls has been able to consistently show, over a set period of time, it can handle the demands of the big stage.

"Every time we are able to book a Bob Dylan type, that shows the world that we are the kind of city that is able to host these kind of events," Schmidt said.

"Bob draws an interesting crowd. He's got some loyal fans," Sioux Falls Arena general manager Terry Torkildson said. "But it's nice to have him in the market."

Torkildson says the concert industry has changed for artists over the past decade. Downloads and file sharing are the preferred way of obtaining music instead of purchasing an entire album. And that's a trend that only helps the city as the new events center becomes a reality.

"It's really cut into their profits," Torkildson said. "So, touring is a profit center for them. If you have a big building like we're going to have, in a nice market with low unemployment and a good quality of life, they're definitely interested."

Torkildson says a few acts have already expressed interest in the events center. And while he's not at his apex of his popularity, the Bob Dylan concert helps.

"Any time you can bring a show in where the word of mouth spreads amongst the promoters and producers and acts that it worked well and they had a good time in town. It makes a big difference," Torkildson said.

"This definitely signals Sioux Falls is growing," Schmidt said. "We're taking steps to make ourselves bigger and better. And with that will come bigger and better concerts."

But with bigger and better concerts come bigger and better expectations. Artists have to tour to make money and according to Torkildson, the events center needs to attract big names to justify its place in the city.

"We have to," Torkildson said. "In order to make it what it was intended to be, we have to."

City leaders know this past August isn't indicative of a consistent big name trend.

"We know this isn't going to happen every month," Schmidt said. "We wouldn't be realistic to think that."

But it provides a blueprint for making sure Sioux Falls sounds and looks good as a premier concert destination.

"I think this all adds to the great variety that Sioux Falls has to offer artists to come into our city to perform," Schmidt said.

"We've got the facilities, we've got the people, we've got the commitment to the city to bring in a lot of entertainment," Schmidt said. "And I just think it's a big positive for the future."

Torkildson says bigger acts will also appreciate the space of the events center. He says stage configuration problems prevented the Black Eyed Peas from performing at the Sioux Falls Arena in 2010.

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