Flea market finds concert niche - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Flea market finds concert niche

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By Cade Fowler - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) – The owner of a struggling small business found a unique way to turn that business around right in the middle of the recession.

She's become a major concert promoter - attracting some pretty big musical acts to a small Terrell County town.

It's not quite Woodstock or Bonnaroo, but on certain Saturday nights this Terrell County field comes to life with the stage occupied by some familiar names.

"We've had John Anderson, Sammy Kershaw, Percy Sledge, Clarence Carter several R&B artists, Marvin Sease, Wilson Meadows. says Sasser Flea Market Owner Dee West.

Her business is more than just a flea market - she's also a promoter - booking acts, hiring security, and making sure the talent is taken care of.

She admits this is no fancy amphitheater. But it works, for the performers and their fans.

"They're out there close enough to the artist that they got a birds eye view. It's not like they're sitting in the nose bleed section of a coliseum. And the artist seem to like the closeness," she says.

It all started in 2007 when the Swingin' Medallions made a stop. Since then, other acts have followed bringing a variety of fans from near and far both young and old.

"A lot of artists are out my range financially, but there's a lot of them out there that are affordable. So I see what my fans want to hear and I try and see who I can afford to come," said West.

Despite being located in small town with a homemade stage, bringing in talent hasn't been a problem.

She said, "I'm kind of known now with booking agents out of Nashville. So now I have booking agents out of Nashville calling me trying to book their artists."

The down economy has also factored into the success. West says ticket prices are affordable. You'll find no surcharges or convenience fees. It's bring your own cooler with ticket prices ranging between $20 and $25.

"I think if the surrounding area continue to support me and come see these artists, hopefully in the near future we will have bigger names and more popular names," says West.

West says the largest crowd so far has been 2200. Concerts usually draw around a thousand people.

This Saturday, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame group The Lovin' Spoonful will perform at the Sasser Flea Market.

Gates open at 7 o'clock.

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