Last updated: May 10. 2014 11:49AM - 855 Views
By Jim Bucher



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OK, close your eyes for a moment …


Now picture a beautiful summer evening with the birds chirping and the temperature is just PERFECT, arriving to your destination, grabbing a bite to eat and with drink in hand, you settle into your seat, wave at a friend or neighbor and then it’s time, the show is about to begin.


Ahhhh, doesn’t get any better than that huh? I’m picturing catching a show this summer at Fraze Pavilion.


And I know for a fact that Greene County loves Fraze too!


I’m trying to think, before Fraze, what the heck did we all do each summer?


Karen Durham, the General Manager of Fraze and her staff has been working all winter to bring the right mix of music for every taste to the long time Kettering venue.


Last year’s lineup was a doozy, how does one top 2013?


“Our ticket buyers and a tremendous staff are two keys to success. Loyal guests who continue buying tickets and their enthusiastic response to the artists on stage makes the performers want to return each year. Fraze team members really do make the difference in the concert experience from the moment you walk into Fraze FanFare inside Town & Country Shopping Center to purchase your ticket; the welcome you receive when entering the facility; a concession team second to none; and our sincere thank-you as you exit after the show. Guest experience is important, but artist experience is just as valuable in this business as artists, managers, agents all talk about the various venues they play.” Durham says.


And check this out, when a former Beatle loved his Fraze experience so much last go around, well, when he calls you answer.


“That’s right, Ringo, ok his people, called me!” Karen says with a chuckle. “We’ve been trying to bring him back since 2008 and finally he returns.”


Others are making a return trip, plus some ‘newbies’ too.


“Moody Blues are back for this first time in several years along with ‘First Time’ Frazer’s’ Paul Rodgers of Bad Company, Jeff Foxworthy, Kenny “Babyface” Edmunds, Casting Crowns, Little Big Town, jam band Umphrey’s McGee and Alan Jackson.” Durham adds.


So, my question is, how in the world do you begin booking artists, is there a science or a method to the madness? Karen says it’s a matter of putting together the pieces of a puzzle.


“I’m not sure it’s thinking we’ve got to have ‘x’ number of country shows, ‘x’ number of pop shows or anything like that. The process is more talking to the agents, knowing the artists on tour and booking those groups best for Fraze audiences.” Karen says.


With all the choices out there for my entertainment dollar, why should I spend it at Fraze?


“Location, Location, Location! A beautiful neighborhood setting; easy access to and from the show; quality affordable entertainment and a team committed to providing the best concert experience. There is nothing better than to see the smiles on our guests’ faces as they leave a great show!” Durham says.


Personally, I’ve known Karen and her wonderful Fraze staff for a very, very (better quit with two ‘very’s’) long time and they love their jobs. If you’re not happy, they aren’t either.


“As corny and simple as it sounds, we love what we do. It is a challenge to book the right bands at the right price on the right night. But it’s all worth it at the end of the night when we hear audience feedback, see those smiling faces and hear our team members talk about their interactions with our guests. Words can’t describe what a tremendous job our operations/management team does in hiring and training a staff of 250+ each summer to make it look easy – and fun.” Karen says with a big smile on her face.


Now, I can’t let her get away without asking, what’s new this year?


“We’re launching a new series this season, Throwback Thursdays, sponsored by the Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission. We’ve booked the music of Neil Diamond, Prince, the Rolling Stones and Frankie Valli. It should be a fun night of hit music while keeping ticket prices in the $5 - $10 range.”


The best way to stay in ‘tune’ with Fraze happenings and purchase tickets is to visit www.fraze.com or you can always stop in and say ‘hey’ to the friendly staff at Fraze FanFare.


You can also purchase Fraze tickets at www.etix.com or by phone at 800-514-3849.


See you this summer at the one and only place for Summer’s Best Music, Fraze Pavilion.


Oh, by the way, you can open your eyes now! — Cheers! Buch


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