Set the record straight on the pops | News, Sports, Jobs
The Chautauqua Lake Pops have enjoyed 20 years of bringing the arts to the people through their Bemus Bay Pops concert series, lakeside at the Italian Fisherman restaurant and most recently at Mayville’s Lakeside Park in 2019 and 2021. concerts 2020 has been canceled due to the Covid Pandemic.
The Pops did their best to deliver a successful program to the Mayville community for three years, but it was met with resistance on many fronts. We don’t want to be where we are not welcome. We cannot afford to continue to suffer financial losses and manage conflicts.
In an effort to continue the series, the Pops approached the town of Jamestown, the village of Celoron and the town of Buffalo. Long Point State Park and Midway State Park were considered as possible locations. Bemus Point has also expressed interest in bringing the series back. We spoke at length to the Mayor of Bemus Point, but the question remains, how do we fund the program? The minimum annual budget for the Pops series is $350,000. Shows are expensive. They are really good shows. They come from all over the country.
The Pops is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation that relies solely on donations and support from sponsors. Ticket sales alone cannot cover costs. To be successful, the Pops needs a long-term support commitment. A detailed economic impact study showed that the Pops series brought in more than $13,000,000 to Chautauqua County. These dollars went directly to retail owners, restaurants, hotels, and other local attractions and museums. Everyone enjoyed Pop’s summer concert series.
Presenting the Bemus Bay Pops series was easier when we owned the Italian Fisherman restaurant and could use some of the regular staff to help run it. The Bemus Bay Pops began as a rooftop concert on Labor Day in 1998. Five years later, we’ve moved from the roof and onto a floating stage with a summer-long concert series, growing larger each year. year and never look back. When we sold the restaurant in 2018, we retained the Pops and spent a year researching different places to move. In 2019, after choosing Mayville, the Bemus Bay Pops became the Chautauqua Lake Pops.
Under the contract the Pops originally signed with the Village of Mayville, we would pay a $1 fee for each of the first two years. In the third year, the entertainment venue would pay $2 per ticket sold for the first 2,000 tickets and $1 per ticket sold beyond 2,000 tickets. The Pops recently paid the Village of Mayville $3,394 representing 1,697 tickets sold in 2021.
A lawsuit has been filed against the Pops and the Village of Mayville by two summer residents of Ohio and a resident of Mayville. Load concerts took place in 2019 before receiving the required state permits for the floating stage and “produced excessive, dangerous and harmful noise levels”. We requested a contract renegotiation and extension as we had to cancel the entire 2020 season due to the pandemic, but received a denial from the Mayville Village Board. There has also been a rollback on the original agreement which allowed nearby cycle lanes to be closed during concerts. Closing the bike lane was a very important safety necessity during installation and performance. Safety was our main focus in modifying the path for cyclists, eliminating what could have been a dangerous situation. Weeks of unnecessary delays and costs were initiated.
We are very proud of our history. As evidenced by last year’s poll, people who attended the concerts loved the Pops. People want to be by the lake. It is a resort area, it is where people come to relax and enjoy their summers. The Pops have provided a wonderful venue unique to Chautauqua Lake, Chautauqua County and all of Western New York.
After consulting with the Pops Board of Directors, sponsors and ticket holders about the 2022 season, we have concluded that it is impossible to find a successful path by continuing the program in Mayville. We will continue our search for a new location with the goal of staying on Chautauqua Lake, if possible! We sincerely hope this isn’t the end of the Chautauqua Lake Pops!
Additional information can be found at ChautauquaLakePops.com and Pop’s Facebook page.
For more information on the floating stage, please visit floatingstage.com
Dan Dalpra is founder and CEO of Chautauqua Lake Pops.