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DeLuna Fest on pace to sell out

Pensacola News Journal
Thursday, July 26, 2012

DeLuna Fest on pace to sell out, organizers say
Written by Julio Diaz      Full Article

There are just 56 days left before DeLuna Fest kicks off on Pensacola Beach, and organizers are hip-deep in getting things ready.

A stellar line-up for the Sept. 21-23 music festival on Pensacola Beach, headlined by Pearl Jam, Foo Fighters, Zac Brown Band and Florence + the Machine, has resulted in ticket sales in all 50 states and 14 countries, according to festival managing partner Scott Mitchell.

“We’ve sold out all of our advance tickets. We’re in the regular ticket phase, which is the bulk of the tickets,” Mitchell said. “We have decided and released our final pricing. Our professional opinion is that we’re on pace to sell this thing out.”

Mitchell said the team will consider anything over 35,000 tickets as a sellout. While he said he believes the site can hold significantly more people, organizers plan to cap attendance at about that number. The DeLuna Fest team stressed that single-day tickets will not be offered. And the team anticipates selling out of weekend passes ahead of the festival weekend.

Mitchell and his partners, wife Emily and festival booker Gus Brandt, see their work this year as helping to build Pensacola’s reputation in the music world.

“Pensacola could be a musical destination,” Emily Mitchell said. “We’ve got Vinyl (Music Hall), we have DeLuna Fest, the Saenger (Theatre), the (Pensacola) Civic Center, and I know there’s talk about doing stuff at the ballpark, eventually.”

“It’s about making Pensacola a mini-Austin,” she said, referring to the Texas capital city that has become one of the country’s major music meccas. “Making it a music destination that people think about. And hopefully, DeLuna Fest can be a part of that.”

Brandt enjoys an excellent reputation in the music industry after 15 years as a road manager for the likes of the Foo Fighters and Eminem. He said industry buzz for the festival is strong.

“People are psyched,” he said. “Everyone’s rooting for us in the industry. All of the agents and managers and publicists and guys in bands are like, ‘Oh, you guys are doing this? That’s great.’ (They like that) we’re not part of a giant corporation. We’re independent. We’re just a few people that want to get sunburned and go deaf.

“Look at what we’re getting away with. We’ve got 55 bands coming here on purpose that actually want to be here. People are coming out of the woodwork, asking, ‘Hey, can we come on?’ There’s no more room. The beach is sold out. Hotels, you can’t get one.”

For those having trouble finding a place to stay, festival organizers are recommending rooms in Pensacola and other nearby communities, with three shuttle stops downtown being set up to ferry visitors back and forth to the beach.

Brandt said locals who aren’t staying on the beach for the weekend also should give strong consideration to the shuttles when making their festival plans.