Showing posts with label concerts. Show all posts
Showing posts with label concerts. Show all posts

#Tampa Friday Extra Concerts 2016

Finally the city of Tampa has posted the schedule of #FREE Friday Extra Series concerts. The first half are at waterworks park, and the remainder are at Lowry Park. Most of the bands have a website listed so you can check it out.
We'll be there most weeks, see you there.

10 Frugal Travel Tips

Deep Fried Cheese Curds
 
We just got back from our annual travel odessey Up North to visit our families and friends. We drove our rental car over 800 miles in ten days and maximized the trip. Between the family get togethers, concerts, State Fair, racing events and time with grandchildren and friends, it was a whirlwind tour. Of course we tried to do it in the most frugal way possible, so here a few tips I would like to share from our travel experience.

1. In the airport and airplane - we packed some granola bars, beef jerky, Diamond almonds and some candy for snacking on the plane and throughout the trip. We also brought along some Starbucks gift cards so we could enjoy a free coffee drink at the airport. Our home airport has free wi-fi so we could have internet while we waited for our plane.

2. Wi-fi - rather than be without Internet on our trip, I opted to pay Sprint a $1 a day to make my smartphone a wifi hotspot for the ten days of our trip. Our relatives who hosted us don't have internet so it was necessary. I also switched domain name registrars this month from Blogger to Godaddy and the switch happened to occur during our trip so I had to have internet to change nameservers. My site was down for a couple days, but I'm glad to say Google doesn't have control over my domain anymore.

3. Pack your favorite foods from your stockpile - Whenever we visit family we have to do our grocery shopping in different stores with different coupon policies. To avoid the frustration of having to pay full price for coffee or peanut butter, we pack it from our stockpile at home. I like to pack a few of the higher priced items that we know we want like coffee, peanut butter, beef jerky, and unique recipe ingredients.

4. Bring hostess gifts from your stockpile - I like to provide personal care items like razors, cleansing wipes, and cosmetics; gift cards, chocolates and candy as hostess gifts for our hosts where we stay. It's always nice to leave a thank you card too with some cash to show your appreciation.

5. Research your rental car discounts - Since we are state employees we can use the Avis rental car state code and get a great deal on rental cars. We paid $19 a day for a new 2014 Toyota Camry, plus taxes. If you don't have a corporate code from your employer, you can find these codes on Slickdeals.net by searching the forums for "rental car discounts".

6. Rent the cheapest car  - This has never failed us. We rent the subcompact car and when we get to the rental car counter, undoubtedly there are no subcompact cars available so they upgrade the car at no additional charge. Or if they give you a crappy car like a Kia, just say you can't safely see over the hood and want a different car. This works consistently at smaller airports like the ones Southwest Air flys to.

7. Pack Smart - This means pack light. If you can fit your clothes into a carry on bag, you can avoid airline baggage fees. Or you could just fly Southwest where up to 2 bags fly free. But it still makes sense to pack less and just do laundry once on your vacation. Bring your own detergent too. Plan your wardrobe colors to match so each item can be worn more than once. Borrow heavy sweaters and cold weather jackets from your host if the weather turns cold a couple times.

8. Use Local Coupons - Ask your friends and family to buy advance tickets to events if they are significantly cheaper, like the State Fair. Tell them to watch out for coupons for amusement parks and other activities you might be doing with them. Check the internet to find out the deals before hand and if you direct your friends to the deals they might even join you.

9. Bring or Borrow a Cooler - We always pack a small cooler for our trips Up North. It's nice to have water and soda available in your travels, plus if you have food that needs to refrigerated like party dip, beer or restaurant leftovers you can safely carry it around between events.  Use your hosts icemaker ice if you can, but don't be too cheap to buy a bag of ice if you need it. Stay hydrated.

10. Keep Couponing - Ask your hosts for their coupon inserts if you know they don't use them. If you're in a hotel on a Sunday morning, go through the free newspapers in the lobby to get inserts, or if you're stopping at Starbucks theres probably a newspaper there too with inserts.

It's important to remember that you are on vacation, and to take that splurge if you really want. These trips are to make memories and you don't want to have regrets that you were too frugal to spend some money for a wonderful experience.

2013 Friday Extra Concert Series Schedule

Finally, the 2013 schedule has been posted for the Tampa concerts. Again this year the first half of the concerts are going to be downtown Tampa at Curtis Hixon Park, and the second half at our beloved Lowry Park. There is plenty of parking downtown if you're willing to walk a couple blocks so don't let that stop you from attending there. All events are free, bring your dinner, drink and a chair. We always discreetly bring beer too and use a hugger to camouflage the can. The shows are Friday nights from 7:000 - 7:25 opening act, and 7:30 - 9:00 pm for the main act.
 
April 5 - Curtis Hixon
Acho Brothers (Latin)
NJ Ladyfinders (Jazz)
 
April 12 - Curtis Hixon
Kate Rueter (acoustic guitar pop folk)
Urban Gypsies (tribal gypsy bluegrass)
 
April 19 - Curtis Hixon
Michael Weiss (folk)
Shane Mead (American)
 
April 26 - Curtis Hixon
Ray Gurka (pop)
Soul Circus Cowboys (country)
 
May 3 - Lowry Park
Rayzilla's Drumbeat (jazz)
Acme Jazz Garage (jazz)
 
May 10 - Lowry Park
Liz Hollister (guitar pop folk)
Karmic Tattoo (60s 70s and up)
 
May 17 - Lowry Park
Between Bluffs (folk pop roots)
Rebekah Pulley (soul indie rock)
 
May 24 - Lowry Park
Todd Grubbs Band (rock)
Sting Police (tribute band)
 
 

Elton John Concert Live Streaming Friday 1/25/2013

Thanks to Yamaha's groundbreaking DisklavierTV™, powered by RemoteLive™ technology, Elton's performance on the Yamaha Disklavier reproducing piano onstage with a 60-piece orchestra will be streamed live over the Internet and simultaneously to remote Disklaviers in many countries around the world, such as United States, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Australia and Singapore.
His actual piano keystrokes are then faithfully recreated, note for note, in real time on each of the remote instruments, while the entire orchestra is seen and heard on adjacent monitors, in perfect sync with the remote piano performances.
 
Yamaha will be broadcasting the whole concert Friday, January 25, 2013 from 8:00 PM (PST), featuring a blockbuster line-up of music industry stars!
Joining the "Rocket Man" onstage will be Amy Grant, Chaka Khan, Dave Grusin, Earth, Wind & Fire,
David Foster, Dave Koz, James Newton Howard, LEOGUN, Landon Pigg, Lucy Schwartz, Michael McDonald,
Sarah McLachlan, Sinbad and Toto. Legendary bass player Nathan East will serve as music director.

Elton will take the stage approximately 10:25 PM (PST).
Link will be provided later HERE.

How We Spent Our Money in 2012


One of my favorite websites, Mint.com makes evaluating your expenses much simpler at the end of the year. They actually have a pretty good app for smartphones too which I check everyday to make sure no one stole my identity, or money. One of my other favorite websites, Mr Money Mustache has posted his yearly spending so I feel compelled to also drop our drawers and lay it all out there.
 
I thought it would be interesting to see where all our money went last year and what opportunities there are for improvement this coming year. You might not really care what we spend, but you're probably nosy and will continue to read and see how you compare to us, a couple of cheap asses who recycle plastic baggies (not really). I think this may be a useful exercise to see where our money goes and to try to manage it so that when we retire we'll be able to fully enjoy ourselves on a limited budget. We learned a long time ago how fun it is to not have a car payment. And we learned a few years ago how fun it is to not have a house payment. And we learned last year how fun it is to not have to pay for food, gas or household products. So, just there we have three categories of expenses that have just went poooffff! up the air, gone to heaven and hopefully, never be seen again.
 
As you recall, we did a pretty extensive remodel of our home including all three bedrooms, dining room, living room and office. This ended up being our largest expense of the year and its worth every dime. Now our home is totally renovated and modern, and we're on our way to a clean, uncluttered existence as we sort through the outcast stuff we still have in our "green" room or the stockpile room.
 
Anyway, listed here are our largest expense categories of the year.
 
1. Home (Insurance, taxes, remodel, furnishings, appliances) $13,291
This was by far our biggest expense even though we have no mortgage or loans. The taxes $1000 and insurance $2500 are pretty much out of our control so that is a fixed expense. The remodel and new furnishings were a one time expense we  don't anticipate this again, although there are other projects on the horizon in years to come such as a new roof, fenced yard and we expect a new A/C unit will be needed someday since ours is over fifteen years old. However, we paid for everything and expect next years home expenses to be less than a third of what they were. There are opportunities to repair rather than replace, and preserve what we have so it lasts longer. My goal for 2013 is to spend less than $5000 for the year on this category.
 
2. Utilities (mobile phones, internet, TV, electric, water, garbage) $6,056
We are generally frugal in our use of utilities such as water, electricity and try to recycle to minimize garbage. I've unplugged one dorm size refrigerator and hope to empty our small freezer so we can unplug that as well. That leaves two full size refrigerators and a kegerator sucking down electricity at a high rate. In the warm weather, I unplug and drain the hot tub since we use the pool. Likewise in the cool weather I run the pool filter pump less hours per day since we don't swim in it for half the year (although the dog does - every day!) I was hoping to decrease our TV/Internet expense when our contract was up, but that didn't turn out and I feel fortunate to pay the same rate for another two years. Maybe by then DH can be weaned off cable and we can subsist on online streaming of sports events and TV programs. I'm looking to cutting our cell phone costs in half this year as I combine my smartphone with DH's account at only $40 a line unlimited everything. We are both eligible to upgrade our phones, but the frugal thing is to just keep them both as is. So there is definitely opportunity to cut expenses in this category, so my goal this year is to spend less than $5000 in this category as well.
 
3. Allowances $6000
DH and I each get an allowance monthly to pay for stuff that is not a household expense.This category would also include going out to restaurants which we only do a couple times a year - except for the Firehouse where we go regularly for wings and beer. These optional expenses like beer, cigarettes, going out to eat, massages, extravagent unnecessary expenses (Ipad, extra computers, music) are paid for with cash from our allowance. We both save a significant portion of our allowance being the frugal spenders we are. DH used to spend a good portion of his allowance on driving a race car and I purchased computers and photography equipment. If we decide to do something extravagent that the house "can't afford" we both chip in from our allowance. This category will stay the same next year.
 
4. Auto & Motorcycle (insurance, maintenance, gasoline) $4,126
Our two old cars and two newer motorcycles are very expensive to insure in this state of Florida where almost half the drivers do not carry insurance, and I'm sure a good portion of them are driving on suspended licenses as well. It is dangerous and therefore we have probably excessive insurance compared to most people. But after DH was struck by an uninsured driver in 2010 and we received a nice settlement from our own insurance, we feel safer on the roads having sufficient insurance. But this is one area we can still cut back on insurance with the red truck since it sits in the driveway the majority of its life, and its the biggest boxiest safest vehicle we have. Of our auto expenses, over half is insurance $2470, $1657 was maintenance on all four vehicles. I've made a note to mention $1722 for gasoline even though this was paid for with gift cards we got at Publix from overage, and yard sale proceeds. So the opportunity here is to cut insurance a little and to ride my bike more this year, so this year we can spend less than $4000 in this category.
 
5. Travel $3,384
This category has suffered since we have been remodeling. Now that our home is updated, we plan to resume frequent travel. We already have booked a nice seven day cruise to the Virgin Islands this spring, and plan to book another for Fall 2013, in addition to our annual trip up North to visit our families. We have let all our season tickets to NASCAR races go unrenewed and we may attend these types of events at most once a year. I actually desire to travel to places I haven't been to before, or places I traveled to as a child. I would love to visit San Francisco, Hawaii, Yellowstone National Park, Colorado and Canada. We're actually in a holding pattern for extended long trips as long as we have our old dog. When she passes in a few years, we'll be able to take longer trips overseas without having to worry about finding a caretaker for her. So this year, I would expect this category to at least double, if not approach $10,000.
 
6. Shopping $2,793
Amazon is the death of me. It is way to easy to shop online and it shows up here in this category. We have way to many clothes and shoes and could easily go years without purchasing anything to wear. I see this category as an opportunity to cut in half to about $1400.
 
7. Health (Rx, copays, insurance) $1,722
This category just increased this year because of our Governor, for the first time in ten years we were required to pay health insurance premiums. I hope to just maintain the cost of this category in the future, not much hope of decreasing it until I hit menopause or quit having sex, and can quit going to the doctor for those little pills.
 
8. Entertainment (Busch Gardens, Concerts) $1,656
This category is actually not very much of our budget and I hope to be able to maintain that amount this year. We do go to a lot of free festivals and inexpensive concerts to keep this cost down. Actually, since we used to work concert events we have seen almost every performer we care to see and the cost is often not worth it if we've seen it. We did splurge and buy good tickets for an upcoming Lady Gaga concert this spring.
 
9. Pet $695
The love, companionship and protection we receive in exchange for vet bills and medications is worth the cost for our dog. Dog food and treats are paid for with overage at Publix so this is actually less than most pay for a pet. If we keep this expense under $1000, that would be good. In the future this expense will go away when the dog dies.
 
10. Personal Care $249
This category is probably low since DH pays for his haircuts with cash and takes out the money when he gets his allowance. So it really should be double, closed to $500 for hair cuts and perms. It helps being low maintenance people - no manicures, hair color, no pedicures or expensive massages. All that individual stuff comes out of allowance anyway, it is not considered a household expense.
 
The missing category -  Food & Beer
This category is one where we have eliminated the expense by using coupons and shopping the sales. We buy stuff we don't need, to use the overage to get what we need. We actually made $803 last year, spending $2951 in cash and gift cards to purchase $32,729 worth of products (including $3755 in gift cards and gas cards). The cash used in shops was proceeds from yard sales selling our stockpile from couponing. We also use the cash to pay for our beer kegs, and extra spending money when we travel.
 
So, in summary our goal for the upcoming year is to cut our spending by 10% overall.
 
How did you do?

 

2012 Tampa Friday Extra Concert Series

It is Tampa's longest running concert series and is renowned for showcasing local talent and bands.
The concert series runs eight weeks, every Friday in April and May.
March 30, April 13, 20, and 27 at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, 600 N. Ashley Drive
May 4, 11, 18 and 25 at Lowry Park, 7525 North Boulevard
All Concerts start at 7 p.m. Free Admission (bring a chair and a cooler or dinner)
 
Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park 600 N. Ashley Drive, Downtown Tampa

MARCH 30: JAZZ - Main Act: Denise Moore and Then Some, Opening Act: Alan Thomas Group
APRIL 6: No Concert/Happy Holiday
APRIL 13: ROCKABILLY - Main Act: Cadillac Bombers, Opening Act: Kirsten and Jasmine
APRIL 20: POP/ROCK - Main Act: Woody and the Nutcrackers, Opening Act: Donnie Rogers
APRIL 27: COUNTRY - Main Act: Glenn Cummings Band, Opening Act: Sunset Bridge Band

Lowry Park 7525 North Boulevard

MAY 4: ROCK - Main Act: Ruben Rey and the Undercover Band, Opening Act: Maggie DiPietra
MAY 11: SLIDE GUITAR BLUES - Main Act: Kraig Kenning, Opening Act: SAA
MAY 18: EASY LISTENING - Main Act: Fire and Rain, a James Taylor Tribute Band, Opening Act: Jun Bustamante
MAY 25: HORN, REGGEA ROCK - Main Act: Late Night Brass Band, Opening Act: Will Erickson Band

 

How To Attend Concerts for Free


Tomorrow night we're going to see the Motley Crue and Poison concert and we actually paid money for tickets. While this might not be unusual for most, it is for us. Over the past several years we've seen a few hundred concerts and 99% of them have not cost us any money. The main reason is that we're frugal and as much as I love live concert events and sporting events, sometimes I leave feeling like it just wasn't worth it. Like for instance tomorrow's concert tickets cost $95 each, but with the $5.50 facility charge, and the $30.40 convenience charge, and the $4 order processing charge the total comes to $230 for an evening of rock n' roll. Add on $11 beers and maybe a snack and it soon becomes a huge non-frugal affair.

On the other hand, if we were working at the St Pete Times Forum as guest services staff or security, we would be making over $100, and see the show too. So the swing between paying $230 and not making $100 makes it a $330 opportunity cost to attend the show as a guest. But we don't work there anymore since the motorcycle accident last fall, so now when we want to see a concert - we pay. We've actually seen Motley Crue about three times in the past few years, but they put on a great show and we know its worth it to attend and party, rather than babysit work.

The point is, if you want to see events for free, one way is to work for the venue, or in some cases you can even volunteer. We also used to work for Sentry Event Services and they staff events at Tropicana Field (baseball), Raymond James Stadium (football), the USF Sundome (concerts), and the Tampa Amphitheatre (concerts). Sentry will let your civic, community or church group volunteer and the money that would have been paid to staff goes to the organization you represent. The cool thing is that if you volunteer you really don't work that hard and you get good spots in the front sections. You're not going to get rich volunteering or working for $8/hour, but you can see lots of events for free.

But if you're not into working and standing for six hours at an event, you can still try another method to avoid having to pay for your tickets. We used to do this a lot before the economy took a dive, but I think it would still work for the right event. We would just buy an extra pair of tickets to an event and list them for sale on Stubhub for some ridiculous price and they would sell. The profit from the sale of one pair paid for our pair of tickets so we essentially went for free. But keep in mind this is risky and you may end up with tickets you have to sell for less than face value, or you may have to attend the show yourself. We would often buy a pair of tickets and plan to work the event, but if the tickets didn't sell we would just go as guests. This never happened but it was our insurance. You could also buy tickets for an event you know would sell out, (like playoff games) and take the profit and buy tickets to a concert or event you do want to attend.

#Tampa 2011 Friday Extra Concert Series

One of my favorite FREE seasonal events is about to start this spring, the Friday Night Concerts. This year's Friday Extra Concert Series features some of the Tampa area's most talented acts playing jazz, rock, blues and country.

The series runs Friday evenings in April and May beginning at 7 p.m.. April's concerts take place downtown at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park while May's shows happen at the Lowry Park Bandshell.

The 2011 Friday Extra lineup:

April 1: O Som Do Jazz with Larue Nickelson and Jeremy Powell (jazz)

April 8: Poetry n Lotion (bluegrass/jazz) with Acho Brother (Latin/electronica)

April 15: Lois Greco with Al "Coffee" McDaniel (blues)

Please note: there will be no concert on Good Friday, April 22.

April 29: Whitney James with Roberts and Vanstone (jazz)

May 6: Ditchflowers with Ed Woltil and Steve Robinson (pop-rock)

May 13: Have Gun, Will Travel with Lauris Vidal (alt-country)

May 20:Rubix Cubed with Undercover Band (covers)

May 27: Amanda Drake & the Barnburners with Suite Caroline (country)


Admission to all concerts is free. Alcohol is prohibited in city parks (but this is not really enforced if you're discrete).  The Friday Extra Concert Series is produced by the City of Tampa Parks and Recreation Department and sponsored by Tampa Tribune and the Friends of Tampa Recreation, Inc.

Free New Years Eve Concert at Busch Gardens

Those of you in Tampa still deciding what to do on New Years Eve may want to consider going to The Guess Who concert at Busch Gardens. It should be a nice warm evening and the FREE (with park admission) concert starts at 10:30 pm in Gwazi Park and ends with fireworks at midnight. Gwazi Park gates open at 9:30pm Friday.
 
The Guess Who is a great oldies band and is sure to be an evening of hits. We're thinking of taking a cab, or riding our motorcycle to avoid the traffic and closed parking lots, so if you plan to go it better not be at the last minute. Based on past years holiday concerts, the parking lot will probably close about 7 or so.  

Disney Epcot Food & Wine Festival

For all you peeps out there who participated in the Disney Give A Day, Get A Day volunteer promotion, and you've been saving your free passes for a special occasion, now is the time. Celebrating its 15th year, the 2010 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival will be held from October 1- November 14th.  Your Epcot admission is all that's needed to participate in this popular venue. Find the answers to all your questions HERE.
As with all Disney events, themed entertainment is part of the festivities. Visitors to the Food and Wine Festival can "Eat to the Beat!"
The following line-up of performers is scheduled for the 2010 "Eat to the Beat" Concert Series:
10/01 - 10/03 - Taylor Dayne
10/04 - 10/05 - Kool & The Gang
10/06 - 10/08 - Sugar Ray
10/09 - 10/10 - Taylor Hicks
10/11-  10/12 - Air Supply
10/13 - 10/15 - Sister Hazel
10/16 - 10/17 - Howard Jones
10/18 - 10/19 - Expose
10/20 - 10/21 - 38 Special

10/22 - 10/24 - Night Ranger
10/25 - 10/27 - Billy Ocean
10/28 - 10/31 - Starship starring Mickey Thomas
11/01 - 11/03 - Boyz II Men
11/04 - 11/05 - Roger Hodgson
11/06 - 11/07 - Jon Secada
11/08 - 11/09 - Hanson
11/10 - 11/11 - Rick Springfield
11/12 - 11/14 - Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
Performances are at 5:15, 6:30 and 7:45 at the America Gardens Theater.

Survivor

If you're sticking around Tampa Bay this weekend, here's a fun free event. Busch Gardens is hosting a concert on Sunday Sept 5 in Gwazi field at 4pm. The old eighties band Survivor will be playing for FREE (included with park admission).

My Time Is Worth More

Last night we were scheduled to work security at the Dave Matthews concert at the amphitheatre. We've worked that show four times in the past, and every single time there are thunderous storms and heavy blowing wind. This time was no different, except the storms blew in before the show, right as we were getting off work from the boring government work day. I read a great blog post on www.WiseBread.com about replacing a crappy job. The first sentence was about the crappier the job is, the easier it is to replace. Or in my case, just don't go.
 
We ended up calling off the concert gig, blaming it on car problems and we couldn't make it there. I felt terribly guilty about it, but I had been dreading the drama that goes along with working security. First the weather always is a factor, with extreme heat conditions and warnings to limit outdoor exposure. Here we were planning on standing for at least 6 hours straight in the heat. The other unknown is where we'd be deployed. The gates suck because you have to stand in the sun and search peoples bags, and throw away their beverages that they try to sneak in. I hate doing that, so I usually ignore the beverage if I can and not have some other newbie security guy next to me point out that I missed it. Also working the lawn sucks too because the people are so wasted and they just pee everywhere and smoke all kinds of things up there, and generally are loud and drunk and obnoxious. Anyway, there are only a few good positions for security where you can have nice guests who paid too much money for their tickets to get wasted and miss the show up front. These are usually assigned to the regular workers who come to every single event, obviously we don't have the clout anymore.
 
I went for a walk with a friend on our afternoon break, and we were discussing the concert and my dread of going to another job after work. He asked why we were doing it, since he knew we have seen DMB many times, plus we don't particularly care for the music - its kind of sleeper. I guess it helps if you're buzzed which we aren't when we work. He knows its not for the money, a measly fifty bucks each to work a show. I can save more than that in one good grocery shop using coupons! I didn't have a good reason why we worked security. We've done it for six years and have attended hundreds of concerts, so there's rarely a performer that comes along we haven't already seen that we want to see.
 
So, here I have two gnawing coincidences today, the blog post and my conversation with my friend. Both made me question working security. I realized my free time is worth more than they pay me. I didn't want to give up my evening of free time. I'm not sure I can put a price tag on what my free time is worth, but now I know its at least $50.

Frugal Fun - Friday Extra Concert Series 2010

Its the time of year when lots of free outdoor activities take place that are family friendly and fun. One of my favorite things to do in Tampa every Friday evening in April and May is to attend the Friday Extra Concert Series. Here is the concert schedule for 2010. This year, the concerts will take place in two locations - the Lowry Park Bandshell and the new Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park. The concerts are free and open to the public. Arrive early to spread out a blanket, set up your chairs, enjoy a picnic, and visit your friends and neighbors before the concert starts! Park rules must be observed.


The "opening acts" starts at 7:00 p.m. and perform until 7:25 p.m. The "main acts" starts at 7:30 p.m. On April 23rd, there will be an extra "act" - the Eth-Noh-Tec storytellers at 6:30 p.m.


Concerts in the Lowry Park Bandshell:
April 9, 2010
1. Juniper Trio
2. The Definitive Tribute to the Eagles - Alter Eagles

April 16, 2010
1. The Third Band
2. Coo Coo Ca Choo

April 23, 2010
6:30 Eth-Noh0Tec Storytellers
1. Will Erickson
2. Thomas Wynn and the Believers

April 30, 2010
1. Emily Turnage
2. Monday, Monday

Concerts at the Curtis Hixon Waterfront ParkMay 7, 2010
1. Bride Of Chaotica http://www.brideofchaotica.com/
2. Stolen Idols

May 14, 2010
1. Brandon Shepherd
2. Don Juceam Orchestra

May 21, 2010
1. Thick as Thieves Trio
2. Stacey Knights

May 28, 2010
1. One Mounted Tom
2. Johnny G. Lyon Band

Fairs and Festivals

There's a ton of touristy events going on these days in the Tampa area, starting with the today's opening of the Florida State Fair for 12 days. Then shortly after the annual MOSI Renaissance Fest is on weekends from Feb 13 thru March 28. In between these two events is the Plant City Strawberry Festival from March 4 to 14th.
 
All these events have moderate admission fees that can be eliminated or decreased with some forethought. One way to get in free is to work or volunteer at the event. The strawberry festival has lots of opportunities working at a booth cutting strawberries or preparing desserts for the local churches or schools selling stuff at the festival. Just put in a few hours of work, and then the rest of the day is open for your pleasure. Another way to get free admission, is to give blood at the bloodmobiles provided by Florida Blood Services. Personally, this is what we're going to do - give blood for tickets.
 
You can even choose to give blood one day and then come back a different day or weekend and redeem your ticket then, that way you're not weak or tired or thirsty right after. The Ren Fest is a great event with low security so you can bring in beverages and snacks to help make it a frugal day. They even let you exit and go to your car and come back in with more goodies. We like to bring a cooler and leave it in the car to visit a couple times for refreshments.
 
You can also get discounted tickets for the Strawberry Festival at Sweetbay supermarkets.

U2 on YouTube

In case you decided to skip the madness of the Tampa Concert, or perhaps they are not playing in your city for this tour, you can watch the Saturday night concert from California live on your laptop in the comfort of your own backyard.
 
U2 will stream an entire concert live on the YouTube video sharing site this weekend, the Irish band said on their website. Sunday's show at the Rose Bowl in California is already a sellout, with an audience of 96,000 expected, and U2 said it would be the first time for such a large show to be streamed live.
"The band has wanted to do something like this for a long time," said manager Paul McGuinness in a statement.
"As we're filming the LA show, it's the perfect opportunity to extend the party beyond the stadium. Fans often travel long distances to come to see U2 -- this time U2 can go to them, globally."
Google Inc's YouTube will stream the concert across five continents, and two replays will be available after the live feed -- on www.U2.com and YouTube.
The band behind hits like "Beautiful Day" and "Sunday Bloody Sunday" kicked off the U2 360 Tour in Barcelona in June and has boasted high attendances by using a circular platform that can be viewed from all sides of arena.
YouTube has had an uneasy relationship with the record industry in recent years, with labels arguing that popular social networking and online video sites should pay them more for the right to feature their artists.
At the same time they recognize the importance of maintaining their presence on sites that help shape young fans' musical tastes.

Get Paid To Do What You Want

I think I've mentioned before that we have a busy October month ahead of us, and it just became a little busier since we signed up to work at Raymond James Stadium for the U2 concert coming up October 9th. One of the reasons we have a busy month ahead is because there are a lot of entertainment venues and events that we like to attend, and we are GETTING PAID to go. How, you many ask?
 
Years ago, we were given the opportunity to volunteer as ushers at the Outback Bowl in Tampa, and it meant we got to see the game for free. We thought it was a fun experience talking to Wisconsin Badger fans and enjoying the afternoon outside on a beautiful New Years Day in Tampa. We also talked to other staff there and found out that many were employed by Sentry Event Services and made about $8/hr to watch the football game. We also learned that Sentry did event staff and security for the concerts at the Ford Amphitheatre and Tropicana Field for baseball games. This was a great opportunity for us both to attend entertainment events, and get paid. Usually a show is about 5 or 6 hours of standing around, so about $48 each of us, so we bring home close to $100 for every event we work. We were hired in 2004 and have worked about 30-40 events each year since.
 
But, Sentry Events doesn't staff events at the St Pete Times Forum which hosts indoor concerts, hockey games, basketball games, the circus and skating shows like Disney on Ice. So we marched down there and applied so we also get paid to attend events we want there too. The pay isn't as good, but it still brings in $75 to $90 per evening, and the work is a lot simpler, since we are just guest services, rather than security staff.
 
So between the Forum and Sentry, we are both working 6 events this month that we would like to attend, and will bring home close to $500 rather than spending it on the ticket prices. Its a good gig if you are healthy and can stand for up to 6 hours and you enjoy being around crowded events and people. We've been working shows and sports events for over 5 years now and the savings in ticket prices and entertainment dollars is significant. If there is a show we really, really want to have fun at with drinking and partying, then we spring for a ticket. We have often purchased tickets for high demand shows knowing we can double or triple our money on Stub Hub selling the tickets, then we just sign up to work. If the tickets don't sell (which hasn't happened yet...) then we just would plan to attend rather than work a show.
 
So, if you're looking for a way to attend those football games, concerts, baseball games, contact your local venue and ask who does the staffing for guest services and security, its usually contracted out so its not necessarily the venue that employees you.