Massive Snowstorm Prevents Ticketholders from Attending 2009 Jackson Browne Concert
December 9, 2009, proved to be an historic day at the Holiday Motel. Jackson Browne came to the motel to play its first ever intimate house concert, which happened to fall on the day that Northeast Wisconsin was hit with the largest snowstorm in recent history. Fearing that some might risk their lives to get to the show, Browne encouraged concertgoers to stay home rather than put themselves in danger. To everyone's surprise, all but eight people were able to make their way against the elements for the inaugural performance. For those who weren't able to attend, Browne vowed to return to the Holiday for a second show, where their tickets would be honored.
Browne's Generous Return
Eight seats were reserved for the Holiday Motel's November 14th, 2010 Jackson Browne concert, to be filled by those who had been unable to attend the year prior. The tickets that were available for purchase sold out in just seven minutes. True to the generous nature that prompted his return in the first place, Browne also donated twelve tickets for special release to raise money for the enrichment of the Sturgeon By music community:
Four tickets were auctioned by local non-profit Citizens For Our Bridge, to fundraise for Steel Bridge Songfest, the annual music festival that brings tons of musicians and music-loving tourists to Sturgeon Bay each June. CFOB's ticket auction raised $3,460.
Another four tickets were gifted to the Holiday. Their auction brought in $3,306 for the motel's Music Events fund, which supports its year-round songwriting and concert events.
Four more tickets were designated for a free, open-to-the-public community raffle. Carla Mulvey (of Neenah, WI) and Barb Knupper (Fish Creek) each won two free tickets to the show.
Photo credit: Kelly Avenson Photography
The Holiday Motel's Second Jackson Browne Concert
On November 14, 2010, Jackson Browne returned to Sturgeon Bay for his second concert at the Holiday Motel. When a Rock & Roll Hall of Famer plays a 52-seat show at a unique venue, one can safely predict the event will be a success. But no one knew, in the days leading up to this concert, what the full extent of its impact would be.
In the hour before the show, the Holiday's guests and concertgoers gathered in the lobby for appetizers, cocktails, and conversation. Photographer Kasey J. Hembel, who grew up in Sturgeon Bay, was on hand to answer questions about her latest collection, Fragments, now on display and available for sale at the Holiday. Featuring black and white photographs of retro motel signs and more from Hembel's trip along historic Route 66, Fragments makes a beautifully appropriate addition to the Holiday's already unique vintage aesthetic. Excited Jackson Browne fans enjoyed this artistic appetizer until the door to the studio was opened, and ticketholders began to get escorted up in small groups to be seated for the show.
Browne played for an incredible four hours, including a number of songs with long-time friend and collaborator pat mAcdonald, the Holiday's creative director, and drummer Wally Ingram, with whom both Browne and mAcdonald have played professionally over the years.
After the show, Browne joined his delighted fans for coffee and dessert in the lobby of the Holiday, graciously posing for photos and signing autographs. The Holiday is a motel, yes, with an objective to provide guests with a superior lodging experience. But the real heart of the Holiday is its aim to foster community through the arts. Jackson Browne's second concert at the Holiday was saturated with a singular air of magic, reminding all in attendance of the unmistakable power of just such a community.
The Holiday Motel wishes to thank Jackson Browne for his incomparable generosity and for sharing his incredible talent. We would also like to extend our sincere gratitude to the following:
Everyone who purchased, bid on, or entered the raffle to win tickets to this show; photographers Kasey J. Hembel, for presenting her new collection, and Kelly Avenson and Sweet William, who covered the event; Wally Ingram and pat mAcdonald; Sharon Nelson, who donated her time and talents catering the event; the volunteers who assisted however possible and security personnel, headed up by Will Oakley, who donated their presence to keep the event safe; sound engineers Steve Hamilton of Makin' Sausage Music and Billy Triplett of Holiday Recording; melaniejane and Linda Frea, for their unquantifiable contributions; and everyone whose continued support of the motel allows us to continue bringing Door County events like Jackson Browne live at the Holiday.
CHECK BACK SOON FOR MORE PHOTOS FROM THE CONCERT, TAKEN BY TALENTED PHOTOGRAPHERS KELLY AVENSON AND SWEET WILLIAM.
Jackson Browne, one of the owners of the Holiday Motel, headlined the our first-ever house concert on December 9th, 2009 as a stop on his Solo Acoustic tour. 42 tickets were available. Of those, 6 were donated to Citizens For Our Bridge (501c3), a local non-profit preservation organization, with all proceeds benefitting Steel Bridge Songfest, the annual music event hosted by CFOB in Sturgeon Bay. The remaining 36 tickets quickly sold out. The show was a great success and a befitting commencement for the Holiday's concert series. The staff of the Holiday wishes to extend warmest thanks to Jackson and all attendees and volunteers who made this event possible.
Door County's Peninsula Pulse ran this letter from Laurie McConnell,
who came all the way from Palm Harbor, Florida, to attend our
Jackson Browne concert.
Browne Concert an Event to Remember
This trip was "the event of a lifetime," not something I have ever said before.
The plans began forming only two weeks prior to arriving at this beautiful
winter destination. Since I live in the Tampa Bay area of Florida, I knew that if
this was going to happen it would require planning. I received an email about
the Jackson Browne intimate House Concert to be held at the Holiday Music
Motel in Sturgeon Bay. That's where it all began.
Tickets were sold out, but there were some available on eBay. After bidding and
winning a ticket in eBay, I bought my plane ticket to Milwaukee and reserved my
rental car to drive to Sturgeon Bay. Although I had a commitment at work on the
ninth, I was able to get a friend to cover for me; she was excited that I was going
to the intimate Jackson Browne concert.
I flew out of Tampa on an evening flight on the eighth. There were already
predictions of the storm that was to hit the Midwest; many flights were delayed, but
mine left on time. Upon arriving in Milwaukee, the snow-ice was coming down hard.
It was difficult driving, so I spent the night in Milwaukee, paying attention to the
weather reports. I decided to leave early December 9 for my drive to Sturgeon Bay;
I was so determined to get to the concert.
The drive was easy until I reached Sheboygan; then it was a white-out. I saw a large
semi-truck in the ditch, buried under snow from the previous night. As I drove farther,
I saw four cars in the same predicament. There was not much traffic at this point; we
were averaging 30 mph. The exit ramp towards Sturgeon Bay was like sledding down
a hill; careful driving kept me on track. The next 40 miles were slow driving but worth
the carrot at the end.
I arrived in Sturgeon Bay! I was so excited about the concert. It was then I found out
that Jackson had issued a statement saying that he didn't want people to take
unnecessary risks and would do another concert to honor the tickets of those who were
not able to make the trip. Wow...that's a true giver.
I parked my rental car in the middle of a snow-filled street, and went in to the Holiday
Music Motel to pick up my ticket. The warm welcome I received was awesome; Christie
and melaniejane were so welcoming. The aura of the motel is so friendly; I felt like I was
returning from Florida to visit my good friends in Door County.
The concert that evening was truly an event of a lifetime; the positive energy was flowing.
People from WI, FL, IL, and MN were all sharing a special event together. Jackson's music
was timeless; the duet with Jackson and pat mAcdonald was awesome.
In the end, driving through the tough weather was well worth the effort to experience
kindred spirits and music that is unforgettable. I know I will be back.
Palm Harbor, FL
December 22, 2009
Jackson and the Holiday's First Concert
PHOTOGRAPHS BY SWEET WILLIAM IMAGES