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Burbank to Allow Benefit for Indians at Starlight

June 21, 1986|GREG BRAXTON | Times Staff Writer

Burbank city officials, who canceled a concert to benefit Africa last year at the Starlight Amphitheatre when promoters were unable to meet city requirements, book promised artists or sell tickets, have approved a similar event--this one to aid American Indians.

The concert, "Drums Across America," is scheduled for June 29. Organizers said they have scheduled Rich Little, Susan Anton, Rita Coolidge, Janis Ian, Eddie Albert and Richie Havens. Tickets are $20 and $25.

Richard Inga, the city's parks and recreation director, said he approved the event after meeting with Tim Pinch, manager of the city-owned amphitheater.

"I seem to have been this way before," Inga said Friday. "There was a little deja vu . But this event seems to be well-organized and together."

Focus on Hopi, Navajo Tribes

Pinch said the all-day concert will be more of a consciousness-raising event than a benefit. The show is being produced by World Concerts for Humanity, a Burbank-based, nonprofit organization founded by Laurie Scott, a former actress.

Bob Grad, executive director of World Concerts for Humanity, said the concert is designed to draw attention to the plight of the Hopi and Navajo tribes in Arizona who by July 6 will be relocated from their native lands by decree of the courts and Congress. Grad said proceeds from the event will go to the Big Mountain Defense Fund "to prevent the immediate removal on July 6 and to repeal the law."

Grad said the production expenses for the event are expected to exceed $110,000, and he hopes the concert will gross $135,000 from ticket, poster and button sales.

Pinch said he was being "strict with the promoters. We've gotten definite commitments from all the artists. Everything's aboveboard."

Second Event of Year

The event will be the second at the Starlight this year. The first, a Burbank Civic Light Opera production titled "Musical Theater--Then and Now" drew about 400 people in two concerts last weekend. The facility seats 6,000.

Problems ranging from poor ticket sales to efforts by city officials to ban acts deemed "disruptive" have plagued the Starlight in recent years.

Last year, city officials canceled a scheduled music festival for African relief called "You and Me Because We Care." The festival had been designed by its promoters to be Burbank's version of "We Are the World," the music industry's effort to help starving Africans.

The festival was to have featured local bands, the Chambers Brothers and actresses Danielle Brisebois and Mabel King. Promoters said they could sell out the amphitheater for three nights and raise $1 million.

Problems Last Year

The Burbank City Council endorsed the concert in April, 1985, but the city soon discovered that the promoters had not formally booked many of the advertised acts. They also had made no attempt to prepare the amphitheater for the concert.

The week before the festival was to begin, city officials said they would not allow the promoters to use the amphitheater because they had not posted a $30,000 bond and had failed to obtain health permits or arrange for traffic control.

The event was still held at a large ballroom on Hollywood Boulevard. Only three customers paid to attend.

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