By Mark Baratelli (Video & Story)
January 4, 2010 | The state of Florida's largest (and newest) music festival, Orlando Calling (Facebook, Twitter), will be presented for the first time ever November 11-13, 2011 at the Florida Citrus Bowl in downtown Orlando by European event promoter Festival Republic. Its expected to draw over 100,000 fans in 2011 and is the first American event Festival Republic has put on in ten years. Event promoter Festival Republic is bringing it to Orlando. Veteran Event Promoter and Festival Republic Managing Director Melvin Benn spoke at a press conference held at the Amway Center January 4, 2010, introduced by Orlando Venues Executive Director Alan Johnson.
Melvin Benn has produced music festivals all over the UK and Europe and in the 90s, he promoted several Irish music festivals in New York City, Boston, Chicago and San Francisco. Since then, he's has a ten year hiatus promoting events in the US and has been looking for opportunities, especially in the southeast.
His desire is to create an annual festival in Orlando that will take place on the the second weekend in November for the next five years that attract audiences from Central Florida and beyond. He hopes to be pushing 40-45,000 people per day of the festival and building, in three to five years time.
Musically, it remains to be seen who he will put on. Benn says the major acts will have a good deal of comfort in working with him, as they are familiar with him and his past festivals. He wants to attract names that sell nationally and locally. And speaking of local, he wants to involve local musicians as well as national names. He name dropped Hindu Cowboys and Matt Butcher in his talk. He hopes they will see the festival as a place for them to performing and enhancing their careers.
No date has been set to announce the acts and ticket prices, but he says he looks to have the announcement towards the beginning of April, just before the local Florida Music Festival.