This is Adrian Hart with seconews.org We've been restoring and modernizing Southeast Colorado's Concert Festival that is Music at The Junction, and with me I've got Brad Schwartz, one of the original founders of the concert festival. Back in the day, what was the first year you guys did Music at The Junction Brad?
SWARTZ: 2004, Adrian we started out small, actually I got here in 2001 and spent two summers here and nothing went on in town so I got this wild idea to have a classic rock concert, ran it by Rick Klein La Junta City Manager, and he's a big music buff and he says, "Let's go for and it!" and it just took off from there.
SECO News: Very Good.
SWARTZ: I built the committee on people I knew that would have good ideas and like classic rock, and I'll just go down the list on that is Carl Anderson, Ryan Anderson, Dawn Block, Kelly Block, Chad Davis, Brock Hinkhouse, Carrie Hinkhouse, Tracy Lavato, Mike Moreno, Phil Navarro, Andy Nunez, B Nunez, Chief Todd quick, Eric Sterner, Brad and Jamie Swartz, John and Mary Yergert, there were 17 of us and the planning of this really started in September of 2003.
It takes eight or nine months to plan this out, and the first two years we had Martini Shot out of Pueblo as our headliners.
The third year we decided well let's step up a little bit, and we had Fire Fall. And then it just progressed from there to Fog Hat, Blue Oyster Cult, Eddie Money was probably the most popular, Molly Hatchet, and then the one year the economy in '08 '09 was a little shaky so we decided we'd go with cover bands.
SECO News: Oh that was, was that the Hollywood All Stars?
SWARTZ: Hollywood all stars, Alter Eagles, out of Florida.
SECO News: That was a different show. That was cool - Yeah, it was.
SWARTZ: Oh yeah, we had a band out of New York City, we just kind of went small that year but it was a good concert. The last year, our headliner was ELO.
SECO News: Yep.
SWARTZ: And we ended up with a big rain cell that came over and we cancelled it because of lightning, and that was the last year, but the 17 people on this committee, it took us eight or nine months to organize this and then the week of the event we had 50 to 60 volunteers from the community to put it on the day of the event, so it was a lot of work.
SECO News: Yep.
SWARTZ: It was fun. The day of the eight or nine months before it was, it was a lot of foot work on my part.
Yeah, so it was good, it was good for the community. We filled every motel room, every restaurant, gas station around, so it was a good economic impact to the City of La Junta and The Arkansas Valley.
SECO News: So Brad, there were a lot of big local area bands at Music at The Junction too, do you want to tell us a little bit about them?
SWARTZ: Sure. One of the local favorites was Martini Shot of course, but there was a band out of Denver called The $6 Million Band and they were right before our headliner, and they were so good people said bring them back next year and make them the headliner. And we also had a couple bands out of Colorado Springs and Pueblo, and Joe Self who worked for Southeast Colorado Power we had him three or four years and they donated their time.
SECO News: Wow, very cool.
SWARTZ: We got a lot of publicity for all the local bands and probably the biggest year was Blue Oyster Cult a little over 5,000 people. And the last year, our stats came in that when you got ID, it went to a database and we had 19 different states represented and 39 different towns in Colorado.
SECO News: Wow.
SWARTZ: So, Yeah, we Advertised in Oklahoma, Kansas, so we got a lot of publicity for La Junta.
SECO News: Very Cool.
2021 Music at The Junction Updates: