John Kunz is producing the entertainment for the Halloween party on State Street set for Saturday, Oct. 28.
"We did a walk-through today," says event promoter John Kunz, who is organizing the entertainment for the officially unofficial Madison Halloween party on State Street on the night of Saturday, Oct. 28. On Wednesday, Oct. 4, Kunz and city staff toured the State Street areas slated for his stages. "There's going to be one by the Capitol, and another on Gorham right by Pizzeria Uno," he explains.
With the city asserting non-sponsorship of the event, Kunz is taking on responsibility for the entertainment at the party. "This is my event," he says. "I'm taking full liability on the entertainment areas. It's what I do." Kunz is currently working with the city on the event permits, which should cover roughly half a block surrounding the stages in addition to plans for the lights and hiring private staff from CSC Security.
Kunz is no stranger to monster-sized music events. He used to run the Alpine Valley Music Theatre. He organized major music tour stops in Milwaukee with Clear Channel Entertainment, and worked to set up the first shows in Miller Park after it opened in 2001. In Madison, he's organized entertainment for the Taste of Madison and the WJJO Band Camp concert.
There is one event, though, that Kunz highlights when explaining his work as a promoter. In early August of 2002, the Grateful Dead descendant Terrapin Station played at Alpine Valley, a major reversal after years of being banned due to overcrowding and fan behavior. "We brought them back," explains Kunz, "and had to go through many of the same things as we are in Madison in terms of security." This experience, he says, prepared him for Halloween in Madison. "I wouldn't say Halloween is any easier or harder."
At this point, Kunz is working many hours every day to set up the entertainment for Halloween. "Right now I'm in the midst of trying to land more sponsors for both entertainment areas," he explains, with The Onion
"We're finishing up booking most of the bands," Kunz continues, though he is unable to divulge any names yet as the contracts are not completed. He does say that it's going to be primarily local bands. "We're otherwise ready to go," he says. "The key right now is just to get the word out."
Kunz praises the city and its staff for their part in the Halloween preparations. "The city's been nothing but great to work with," he says. "Planning and preparation, we're talking everyday, everybody's on par to make this event successful."
"It's a full time job right now."