After a lengthy debate, the Columbus Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors will help promote a hip hop concert scheduled for Dec. 31 at Fireman’s Park Pavilion.
The New Year’s Eve event will be hosted by Dan Lasiewicz who has hosted previous music events at bars in Sun Prairie. However, since the Columbus concert will be at the pavilion and he is selling tickets to the public, Lasiewicz must obtain a picnic license to sell beer and wine.
“I think having a hip hop band is a good thing,” said Recreation Department Director Amy Jo Meyers. “It brings something new to Columbus.”
Lasiewicz plans to sell no more than 300 tickets but had sold less than 60 as of Tuesday. Meyers said the hip hop groups are from Chicago’s west side.
City Attorney Paul Johnson thought it would be a good idea for the chamber to partner with Lasiewicz since the chamber is a non-profit organization. The deadline to apply for the license was Dec. 14.
“(Johnson) thought since we’re a municipality, it could cause problems if the department of revenue found out that it’s a private event yet they sold tickets,” Meyers said. “The department of revenue has never come knocking on New Year’s Eve, but there is always that one time.”
Lasiewicz would provide liability insurance and security and the Columbus Police Department will conduct a walk-through during the concert. Per pavilion regulations, the show must end by midnight.
Chamber Board President Heather Whitman questioned how the event would benefit the chamber. Meyers suggested the chamber could take a portion of the event’s ticket sales.
Lasiewicz is from the Columbus area and is familiar with the historic pavilion.
“He picked the pavilion because he thinks it’s gorgeous,” Meyers said.
Chamber board member Brittany Bergum said the event could introduce Columbus to people who are not familiar with the city. If the event sells 300 tickets, it could also help Columbus’ lodging and food sales if attendees decide to stay overnight. A couple chamber members plan to attend the show, along with Mayor Michael Thom.
Whitman also wondered what the city will get from the concert.
“The city isn’t really getting anything out of it, it’s just another event at the pavilion,” Meyers said. “And it could lead to more events at the pavilion.”