Small crowd views Vaughan concert
Lamar University Press
November 1, 1985
Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble, along with Jason and the Scorchers, gave an excellent performance at the Montagne Center Saturday evening, although few were on hand to enjoy it.
The concert was supposed to be the crowning event of homecoming festivities, but the crowd was remarkably small, with 1,334 people attending out of a possible 7,000 seating capacity.
Events of this caliber are hard to come by in this area. So why did so few bother to attend?
Area residents, especially high school and college-age students, complain that "Beaumont is a boring place-there is nothing to do in Beaumont." With an entertainer of Vaughan's reputation here in our back yard, a gate of a mere 1,334 people is embarrassing to us at Lamar. Vaughan has played many campuses on this tour and the lowest gate before Lamar was 3,300 at the University of Colorado in Boulder.
Recently, area media people put together a "Kick some attitude" campaign in an attempt to reverse the pessimistic perception of the Golden Triangle, now referred to as the Triplex.
Why then, when internationally known acts agree to come to the area, do we show our appreciation by filling local halls in insignificant numbers?
Saturday's concert, as a case in point, seems to reveal a lack of interest in quality entertainment on the part of local residents. Vaughan's latest album is currently No. 37 nationally.
Our generally lethargic response to such events casts dark shadows on future concert tours coming to our area. Some speculation has been made that lack of "dollar votes" have caused major entertainment promoters to by-pass Beaumont on tours that come as close as Houston. Perhaps they do so with good reason.
Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble drew 15,000 people on the University of Texas campus at Austin. Even taking into consideration the population difference, Beaumont cannot compete for major attractions because we won't support them.
If we don't support them, perhaps we in Beaumont deserve to be bored.
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