Steve Miller Band, Peter Frampton to perform at Watertown Fairgrounds in June (VIDEO)


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WATERTOWN — You can call them a space cowboy, a gangster of love, or even Maurice. You can also call Steve Miller and his band the next big performers at the Watertown Fairgrounds.

The popular band, along with rock singer Peter Frampton, will perform in Watertown on June 30.

The show, held as a part of the Disabled Persons Action Organization’s Car-Freshner/FX Caprara Concert Series, was confirmed on Monday morning. Tickets for the outdoor show will go on sale starting at 7 a.m. Friday and are $64 for general admission and $75 for reserved admission.

Timothy J. Dermady, director of the DPAO Foundation, said the group has attempted to book the performers for several years.

“We were excited when we got the word that they were coming here to Watertown,” Mr. Dermady said. “Also, for the area, we think this will be great music.”

The concert announcement comes as the organization looks to improve the financial standing of its summer series, which has drawn musical and comedic acts to the north country for more than four decades. The event raises money to serve 500 developmentally disabled children and adults and their families.

DPAO officials told the Watertown City Council that the four-concert season has been in the red over the past two years and ticket sales have been going down, from 11,508 in 2014 to 5,421 in 2017. Among the challenges they cited were an increase in competition for performers and audiences, including the Lakeview Amphitheater in Syracuse and regional casinos.

Organizers said they spent $300,000 to book the Steve Miller Band and Peter Frampton for the show, which Mr. Dermady said was in the “top 10” of booking fees the organization has taken on for its series. The DPAO also faces additional costs such as $25,000 to $40,000 to set up an outdoor truck stage and for cancellation and rain insurance.

“The costs are quite extensive there, and that’s what the ticket prices are reflective of; obviously, we need to do these to make some money,” Mr. Dermady said. He described the ticket costs as being “in line with other concerts of its price.”

However, Mr. Dermady was optimistic the June show could sell well, noting the fairgrounds can hold 5,000 to 10,000 people.

“It’s an outdoor show, and it’s been a couple years since we’ve had one. We try to do at least one outdoor event every year, because you draw typically double of what you draw for the Fairgrounds Arena,” he said. “The risk is greater, but the reward is greater.”

Mr. Dermady said the two acts could be a good fit for its audience, pointing to customer feedback asking for classic rock, and research stating 72 percent of its concertgoers are older than 40 years old.

“As much as we want to bring in the younger shows for the 18- to 34-year-olds, our two biggest areas are the 50-plus area (and 60-plus), and this will hit the perfect demographic for the Steve Miller Band and Peter Frampton,” Mr. Dermady said.

During the news conference, Michael Lawler cited a Jefferson Community College study that found the 2016 concert series had an economic impact of $1.64 million and created about 16 jobs.

“They have significant benefit to the quality of life in Jefferson County, as well as an economic impact,” he said.

The Steve Miller Band, which has sold more than 60 million albums globally, according to Nielsen Music, is known for hits such as “Fly Like an Eagle,” “Take the Money and Run” and “The Joker.” Frampton is best known for hits like “Baby, I Love Your Way,” “Show Me The Way” and “Lines On My Face.”

On Monday, DPAO officials said that they are nearing announcements for other performers during its summer season.

They are also close to finalizing a new agreement with the city to keep the concerts at the fairgrounds. The Parks and Recreation Department worked with the DPAO on a tentative deal, Superintendent Erin E. Gardner said.

City Manager Sharon A. Addison reviewed it and sent it City Attorney Robert J. Slye, who’s looking over the document.

“There’s no question that the city supports the DPAO,” Ms. Gardner said. “We’re just working out how exactly we’re going to do it.”

Tickets can be purchased at or by calling 315-782-0044. General admission tickets can also be purchased at Kinney Drugs stores.

Times staff writer Craig Fox contributed to this report.


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