Wednesday, June 22, 2011

UPDATED 6/23: Sarasota Blues Fest sold to Texas company

UPDATED 6/23: Here's my interview with Barbara Strauss and president of new owners ExtremeTix:

Sarasota Blues Fest Executive Producer Barbara Strauss has sold her popular music event to Texas-based ExtremeTix and its entertainment division Three Zebras.

Since 1991, Sarasota Blues Fest performers have included Gregg Allman, Solomon Burke, Buddy Guy, Dr. John, Derek Trucks, Little Feat, Delbert McClinton and New Orleans native Trombone Shorty, who blew audiences away in November with his superb "supafunkrock."

“I am very excited to pass the torch to ExtremeTix and Three Zebras,” Strauss said in a statement. “I have been ready to move on to other projects for a long time. Finding a team as committed to blues and live music as ExtremeTix and Three Zebras is a dream come true for myself and Sarasota.”

Strauss, who grew the fest into Sarasota's largest annual music event, will continue in her role as executive producer of the festival this year, which takes place at Ed Smith Stadium on Nov. 5, and act as a consultant to future festivals.

“We couldn’t ask for a better partner in the citizens of Sarasota and a visionary leader and live music producer of Barbara’s caliber,” reads the comment by Charly Garrett, president of ExtremeTix. “We’re looking forward to continuing the legacy of excellence and seek to provide Sarasota with enriching and engaging programming for years to come.”

Houston-based ExtremeTix lists Jannus Live in St. Petersburg among its long, diverse list of clients.

As for talent, the company has spent the past 30 years booking everybody from the Allman Brothers Band to ZZ Top. Here's ExtremeTix's "partial artist roster."

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