Airplane reunion concert is up and flying in Old Town
Sponsorships sway merchants’ group to give May 6 event a ‘go’

       The Jefferson Airplane is on.
       The nationally known rock band, famous for being part of the “San Francisco sound” of the 1960s, is definitely scheduled to play a “reunion” concert in Old Colorado City Saturday, May 6.
       The last uncertainties about the free event were swept away recently with the confirmation of beer sponsorships with Budweiser and Bristol - as well as growing support from area merchants and strong feelers from other major commercial backers - that could cumulatively cover the roughly $30,000 in up-front costs and even leave a little profit for the Old Colorado City Associates (OCCA) merchants group.
       “We don't expect it to make a lot of money, but it's going to be good exposure for us,” said OCCA Executive Director Nancy Stovall. “It just depends on how many people come. It will be a little bit older crowd, so we hope they'll do some shopping as well.”
       Charlie Cagiao, OCCA board member and former music promoter who talked the board into putting on the concert, said he is encouraged by the buzz he's hearing. Between general talk, media interest, phone calls, website hits and the fact that the band is “selling out everywhere they go” in its ongoing reunion tour, he predicted a crowd of 10,000 to 15,000 people.
       He described the concert as a first for Colorado Springs. “I grew up here, and I don't remember ever seeing a national act perform for free at a block party,” he said.
       Preceded by three warm-up bands starting at noon, the Airplane - consisting of original members Paul Kantner and Marty Balin plus musicians from other big-name rock bands from the '60s and '70s - are scheduled to take the stage from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.
       Plans call for Colorado Avenue to be closed off all day between 24th and 27th streets. The covered stage will be set up on the avenue, just east of 27th, facing east. An enclosed beer garden, serving alcoholic beverages, will be around the 25th Street intersection.
       There are also to be as many as 10 food vendors but no other vendor types. Cagiao said this should help the Old Colorado City shops. “Unlike Territory Days, there will no competing street market,” he said. “We'll bring the people down; it's up to them (the merchants) to bring the people into their stores.”
       To help with parking issues, a free shuttle service will bring in people who park in designated areas outside Old Colorado City. About 15 police officers are to be assigned to the concert itself.

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