Nugent helps Ridge turn profit on event that lost money in ‘12
Ted Nugent took the stage at RidgeFestfor the third time since 2007 in July.
In between songs, he used profanities.
He launched some tirades toward state and federal elected officials.
He peppered the audience in Chicago Ridge with a few controversial right-wing rants.
Oh, and he helped RidgeFest get out of the red and slightly into the black.
The man known as the Motor City Madman and Terrible Ted helped offset some unseasonably cold weather and officials revealed at Tuesday night’s board meeting that the fest made what is so far a $3,659 profit for the village.
Village officials are still waiting to receive a final bill from the Chicago Ridge Parks and Recreation Department. The profit may be even smaller once the village is invoiced.
It’s still an improvement from last year’s loss of more than $30,000. RidgeFest 2012 titled “RidgeFest: Reloaded” featured former Poison front man Bret Michaels and American Idol contestant James Durbin.
Last year, ticket prices were at an all-time high for Michaels and Durbin, costing as much as $25 for non-residents. This year village officials charged $15 for headliners Ted Nugent and the rock group Infinity. In addition to lowering prices, tickets were made available online and at a discounted price for Chicago Ridge residents.
“We made a profit every year except for three years and RidgeFest is now going on 24 years,” said Chicago Ridge Mayor Chuck Tokar. “We obviously did not make the profits we had expected but we did turn a small profit.”
Village officials believe the chilly July 25-28 weekend hurt attendance and beer sales. In total the village had $204,721 in expenses and $208,380 in revenues.
Despite Nugent making the same outlandish comments in 2011 and 2013 that Attorney General Eric Holder is running guns to Mexico and President Obama is a criminal, “Nugent did super the first and the second time he performed at RidgeFest,” Tokar said.
“The reason that I think we had a problem this year with not bringing in the dollar we expected is because the temperature was 58 degrees on July 28, clearly to me that says it all,” Tokar said. “So you still have all those expenses you have to meet and people are not coming in or visiting the beer garden so you get killed on both of those items, attendance and beer sales.”
Next year, the village will celebrate its 100th anniversary and plans to highlight local bands such as the Neverly Brothers while determining a fair amount to spend on a big name headliner.
“Next year is going to be our centennial, which is a once in a lifetime event so we are going to determine how much we’re willing to spend for a headliner and still manage our special events fund,” Tokar said. “We want to highlight local artists from Chicago Ridge while still providing a headliner for our 100th anniversary.”