Country Music Week wrapped up Sunday night with a big star-studded awards show, and on Monday, event organizers and stakeholders offered up their views on how they thought the four-day country music celebration went.
Overall, they say, it was a big success.
Speaking on AM980’s The Craig Needles Show Monday morning, Don Green, President of the Canadian Country Music Association, said he heard the same thing when he spoke to artists, management, and CCMA staffers: “how great was London, and when are we coming back?”
“You guys just put the warm welcome out to us and embraced us fully,” Green said. “From an organization thing, we’ve never seen anything like it, I keep telling everyone I meet ‘you’re so cohesive!’”
Green attributed the event’s success to the assistance they received from Tourism London’s Chris Campbell, the host committee, and local organizers.
“I said ‘if I need something I’ll call you,’ and four or five times I called him like that and he was just like ‘it’s done’,” said Green. “It’s such a relief, things from small little things to little bigger things, to hear that word ‘it’s done,’ then I could get back to focus on other things.”
In an interview on AM980’s The Andrew Lawton Show, Campbell said the event wouldn’t have gone as well as it did had local businesses not stepped up to the plate.
“They’re critical,” Campbell said. “We have a wonderful convention centre, and the staff is exceptional, and the food is great, and that’s wonderful if you’re coming to the city for a conference or a convention, but that’s not why you choose a city. You’re choosing a city based on many other things: what’s the nightlife like? Where can I go after I’m done my business? [..] They were blown away with the city.”
Behind the scenes, Campbell says, city staff and “small armies” of people at local venues worked around the clock on event preparation.
“They went way above the call of duty,” Campbell said. “I had people that worked in operations for the city and parks and recreation and security give me their cell phone numbers and say ‘if something goes wrong at three in the morning, do not hesitate. Call me and we’ll fix it.”
To our local host committee, volunteers, city staff & mgrs from parking, parks & rec, operations & security 1/3 pic.twitter.com/V4c61ruIZH
— Chris Campbell (@campbellchrisj) September 12, 2016
The head of Downtown London was equally pleased with how the week went, calling the event “tremendous for the downtown.”
“I just don’t think we could be any happier,” said Janette MacDonald, CEO and General Manager of Downtown London. “Even the weather co-operated, what can I say?”
“We had a chance over the weekend to chat with a lot of different people and we’ve heard nothing but positive things,” MacDonald continued. “They like how walkable London is, they really enjoyed that. There’s a lot of promoters who, I think, really like London. Especially the outdoor stage we had set up. Hopefully we can get more events spinning out of this.”
The biggest thanks to the extremely hard working volunteers, host committee, venues, techs, musicians & @CCMAofficial that made this happen
— London Music Office (@LDNMusicOffice) September 12, 2016
It could be a few months before final figures are available, but the event is believed to have injected up to $10-million in the local economy.
(With files from Matthew Trevithick, Jacquelyn LeBel)