Most 2022 Fraze shows set as Kettering looks to fill 150-plus concert venue jobs

KETTERING — The Fraze Pavilion has announced more than 15 ticketed shows and a handful of free events, constituting what is expected to be the majority of its 2022 lineup.

Plans are “doing very well” for the first full season at Kettering’s 4,300-seat outdoor entertainment venue since pre-COVID 2019, said Mary Beth O’Dell, the city’s parks, recreation and cultural arts director.

The city will look to fill 150-200 seasonal jobs and complete an array of other functions between now and the first show scheduled for late-May, she said.

Credit: TNS

Credit: TNS

“A lot of the work happens now. A lot of people think the work’s done during the season. But during the season we’re just executing,” O’Dell said.

“There’s a lot of purchases that have to be made, staff hirings, training, equipment ordering, shoring up our sound and light situation,” she added. “A lot of the behind-the-scene things (will) happen pretty heavily in the next two to three months.”

The city has agreed to spend about $3.2 million for contracts and fees for the Fraze this year. Entertainment agreements estimated to cost $2.8 million were included in four measures Kettering approved last week.

The city also is spending $259,000 on advertising, and $80,000 budgeted for music licensing fees to the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers and Broadcast Music Inc.

Shows featuring Steve Martin and Martin Short, Jeffrey Osborne and Peabo Bryson, and Grammy Award winner Travis Tritt are among those scheduled with more acts expected, O’Dell said.

“We’ll continue to announce shows as we get connected with entertainers,” she said, noting “we feel pretty confident in the lineup that we’ll end up producing by the end of the season.”

The last event currently scheduled is The Australian Pink Floyd Show Sept. 1.

The Fraze was closed due to COVID in 2020, when it took a $743,685 hit, records show. It had a shortened season last year, hosting 16 ticketed concerts, fewer than half of 2019′s 35.

The venue had 22 events last season compared to 48 two years ago.

However, concert tickets sold a year ago totaled 43,092, a higher average per show (2,693) than 2019. That year the Fraze sold 79,631 for an average of 2,275 per event, records show.

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About $3 million in Federal Shuttered Venue Operators Grants offset 2020 and 2021 deficits, according to the city.

The Fraze has built up a fund balance that supports its operations and it has not had a transfer from the city’s general fund since 2006, Kettering City Manager Mark Schwieterman has said.

The shuttered venue money “restored our fund balance that was reduced significantly” since the pandemic, he added.

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