A Salt Lake-based promotion company has announced it will stage an internationally televised concert at Park City over the Labor Day weekend to benefit environmental causes, but Park City and Summit County officials are not so sure.
Park City "has been chosen to host Earth Aid, a live benefit television special," says a letter faxed Thursday afternoon from Special Interest Productions to the news media. Other cities considered were Jackson Hole, Wyo., Aspen, Colo., and Stowe, Vt., the letter says.The concert will be broadcast in Europe and Asia, and performers such as Meryl Streep, Billy Crystal, Bette Midler, Alan Thicke, Kenny G, MC Hammer, Olivia Newton-John, The Beach Boys and Marie Osmond have been invited to appear at the two-day event, according to the letter.
However, Park City and Summit County officials say no permit applications have been filed for the concert. Nor have any acts been booked, said concert promoter J.C. McNeil.
McNeil's United Concerts is listed in Special Interest's letter as the concert promoter, but McNeil said United Concerts and Special Interest Productions are still negotiating their relationship.
"We would love to do it. We support it," said McNeil, adding that the concert is not a sure thing.
The president of Special Interest Productions is telling a different story.
Michael Bloom said the concert is not only "a for sure go" but it will be bigger than "Live-Aid," the star-studded benefit for starving Ethiopians.
"Contracts have been received from a majority of the invited guests," Bloom said. "Marie Osmond, Kenny G and Restless Heart have confirmed."
Bloom said their contract with McNeil is also firm.
"Part of the fee McNeil is receiving is to ensure that all the necessary permits for the concert element of the show are taken care of," he said. "They have assured us there will be no prob-lem."
Bloom said the two-day concert will be held at ParkWest on Labor Day weekend.
But that's news to the Park City Chamber of Commerce.
Kristin Gould, spokeswoman for the Park City Chamber Bureau, confirmed the promoters had said they wanted to stage the concert at ParkWest, not in Park City. But any major event would have to go through her office before it could actually be staged in either place, she said.
That hasn't happened.
Surprised to hear Special Interest's claim that the concert was set for the Labor Day weekend, Gould said the last her office had heard, the promoters wanted the concert staged Aug. 16.
According to Bloom, that was their original plan. They moved the concert to the Labor Day weekend to avoid a conflict with a Sting concert scheduled on Aug. 16, he said.
Utah apparently became the concert site after negotiations with Jackson Hole failed.
Gould also said Park City's police chief had received a call from Jackson Hole's police chief, who said the Wyoming town had declined to allow the concert there because the promoter's plans were so vague.
"We just told them they had to go through the same process that anyone who asks for a special event's permit does. That involves paperwork. They never did that," said a spokesperson for the Jackson Hole Police Department.
But Gould isn't sure the concert will be held in Utah either.
"Our stand on (the Earth Aid concert) now is we are not considering it a firm deal," Gould said, adding that Park City officials had been solicited to buy "beauty" shots of the town that would be shown during the concert's broadcasts.
But Bloom is already promoting ticket sales. He said only 15,000 fans can attend the concert each day. Those who purchase tickets for both days will get them at a discount.
"The first day will be country/easy listening; the second will be contemporary and pop with performances like Kenny G," he said.