Looking for something to do this summer? You no LONGer have to look very far.
School is out, and the temperature is rising, that means summer is here and the Long Center is kicking things off with a BANG. The first week of June (the 3rd – 9th) is our busiest week of the month; there are 6 different events, with 9 performances, as well as two new premier events in our All Summer LONG series: Austin Sound & Cinema and Soundtrack Series Austin.
With this much going on you might be wondering what it’s like preparing for a Queen Concert, a spicy musical of fifty shades, two new summer programs and a choir. To satisfy your curiosity we asked a few insiders around the office for their perspectives on what it’s like behind the scenes.
Donya Dahman, marketing manager at the Long Center shared with us, “For me, getting ready for and marketing any one show can be exciting, but getting ready for several at once can almost feel chaotic! With so many moving pieces that can either fall apart or fall into place, it becomes a balancing act of advertisements and social media, commercials and promotions. In the end it all builds to the exhilaration of seeing so many happy smiling faces walking in the doors, taking a program, walking through the lobby filled with carefully placed promotional materials, taking their seat, enjoying the show and walking out smiling and chatting with friends about what a great experience they just had. There’s just no better feeling!”
Guest services manager, Ken Shepardson said, “Wow! Guest Services starts getting ready for shows three or four months in advance, when volunteers and house managers start signing up to work shows that interest them. Then we wait . . . for the night or nights when we “go to work” to greet our guests! All our planning, getting signs ready, putting out programs, and opening the doors—all of that is so we get to the FUN part: welcoming our guests as they arrive at the Long Center for a fun evening. Our goal is to make sure every guest at every performance remembers the evening as a fun time. When we say “Good bye” or “Thanks for coming to the Long Center” as guests depart, and they smile and tell us how much they enjoyed the show, we remember the evening as a good event, too. Ain’t nuthin’ better than knowing you helped people have a good time!”
Karen Jantsch, programming manager said, “As a Programmer, seeing things come to life that started many months ago as just a seed of an idea is, I think, the most rewarding and humbling thing as a new series begins. The events process from idea to implementation can be arduous and hectic, especially when there’s a whole Summer to plan and launch. However, the experience of watching our community come to the Long Center, enjoy the space and make memories they’ll keep close to them far into the future makes it all extremely rewarding.”
Austin Sounds & Cinema, a collaboration between Do512, Alamo Draft house and the Long Center, will feature a unique pairing of live music and some of your favorite films to watch via Alamo’s giant inflatable outdoor screen out on the Long Center’s City Terrace and lawn. Guests can bring their own picnic or enjoy the delicious food trucks Frank, Blue Ox BBQ, and Whole Foods to mention a few. Beverages, adult and otherwise will also be available for purchase from the Long Center. You can look forward to the following pairings in this summer’s line up:
- Wed. June 5: Labyrinth featuring live music by SUPER CREEPS, Austin’s best David Bowie tribute band.
- Wed June 19: Smokey and the Bandit featuring songs about the road from WHISKEY SHIVERS.
- Wed. July 17: Back to the Future featuring live music by HELLO WHEELS, playing hits from both the 1950’s and 1980’s before everyone’s favorite time-traveling feature.
- Wed. July 31: School of Rock featuring the Zeppelin Show performed by WILL TAYLOR & STRINGS ATTACHED.
- Wed. Aug 14: Flash Gordon featuring live music withMAGNIFICO, the greatest Queen cover band you’ll ever experience
- Weds, Aug 21: Jurassic Park featuring live music TBA
The Food Trailers will be open by 7pm, and the sunset concerts will begin at 8pm each evening. The movie will immediately follow (after it gets dark).
For the comfort and safety of everyone we do have a few guidelines;
You CAN bring: Folding chairs, blankets, personal coolers (non-alcoholic beverages only, sorry guys), food, well-behaved pets (on leashes)
You CAN’T bring: Alcoholic beverages, drugs, weapons (or anything illegal), off-leash or loud pets
Coming to the Long Center all the way from New York for a Texas edition is our second new program to debut this week, The Soundtrack Series. The series is music lovers of all types’ ages and backgrounds coming to the mic to share their song fueled stories and memories. You can expect to see a master carpenter/playwright, a blogger, a slam poet, and a musician to mention a few. If you have ever scoured the vinyl section of Waterloo Records, filled your iPod to capacity or shared your favorite song with a friend The Soundtrack Series is for you.
Summer has just begun and you can look forward to a plethora of shows, concerts and events at the long center. So no complaining of boredom, come spend your summer with Austin’s creative home, we will see you under the ring.