It all started last summer when Kelly Rapone started jotting down all the musical happenings that were happening throughout the week.
It wasn’t just the typical weekend events, she said, as there were also new offerings from restaurants, bars and other venues.
“Our office spends many, many hours collecting and collating countywide events to add to our tourism website. So it’s a very robust timeline to start with. But when I started seeing all the live music, kind of like taking over, I was like, you know, there’s really something here that’s special, and it’s not really promoted to the level that I think justifies it,” Rapone said in an interview with The Batavian. “And that literally there’s something going on almost every night of the week here.”
As the director of tourism marketing for the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce, Rapone believes these types of sightings can mean something to the community. As a “niche” marketer, she looks at trends specific to Genesee County, and while the music offerings vary from blues and country to jazz and rock ‘n’ roll, she has found the live performance niche – everywhere.
“I don’t tend to paint our county with a wide brush. But me, when I see a little niche, I really cling to it and I run with it. And that’s what I see happening here, in that it’s not literally just about the musicians in the band. But that’s what these companies are doing to attract economic impact to their facilities,” she said. You know, the music and the entertainment really drives people to places that might normally have a quiet Monday night or Tuesday night.
So she ran with the idea of serving all these events in a collective space for easy access. And Jam in Genesee was born. The website lists all kinds of musical events, from concerts in a park to the Jackson Square summer series, musical evenings in restaurants and live band appearances in taverns, bars and breweries. And anything in between.
While she typically sees a total of 300 to 400 events on the House calendar for the year, Rapone was surprised to have received 100 submissions so far just for music events, she said. .
A quick look around the website shows the various events happening locally, including concerts at Lake Darien Amphitheater, Batavia Downs Gaming, Copperhead, Flyin’ Eagle, Jam at the Ridge, and Centennial Park; as well as open mic nights, karaoke and acoustic performances at various bars and restaurants.
“We are all aware of the biggest concert halls and the biggest musicians coming to the area, but, I mean, the county is full of these events from small bars and restaurants to parks and festivals, all the way to Batavia Downs and Darien Lake,” said Steven Falitico, director of sales and marketing. “So that’s what this program does, which is to put everything under the same type of power or under the same roof and allows us to promote it that way rather than individually.”
For the inside scoop on current and future music events, head to Jam in Genesee. Events can also be submitted on the site, and Rapone hopes restaurateurs will take this opportunity to promote their music schedules. It is also possible to sign up for the Chamber’s electronic newsletter with updates on the live music scene, she said.
“The beautiful thing about it is that it shows we’re a vibrant place to visit, and there’s something happening for entertainment almost every night,” Rapone said. “And I think that makes a destination very attractive in terms of things to do in the evening when you travel. It’s really just another notch in our belt of what more we can say, that you can experience here in Genesee County and have a great time.”