PLAINFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — The B-93 Birthday Bash is moving from the US-131 Motorsports Park near Martin to Fifth Third Ballpark as part of a series of major changes to the event.
Starting next year, concert-goers will also have to pay for tickets, radio station B-93.7 announced during its morning show Thursday.
Until now, visitors to the B-93 Birthday Bash could get free general admission tickets, but had to pay $60 for parking. Under the new structure, prices for reserved seating will start at $34 and parking at Fifth Third Ballpark will be $10.
“Every year, we evaluate everything from what our listeners are telling us, what our volunteers are telling us, what the staff is telling us,” said iHeart Media Market President Tim Feagan. “The model has changed in country music. We have great festivals, like Faster Horses. But the infrastructure is so much better for a concert one day at the ballpark, with bathrooms, parking.”
Feagen says the new format will allow for better planning.
B-93.7 distributed up to 50,000 free tickets for recent Birthday Bashes, with no way of knowing how many fans would actually show.
“I’m fairly confident that the B-93 Birthday Bash will sell out. But we will know exactly how many people are coming and can plan accordingly,” Feagan said.
The event will also be consolidated to one day: June 2, 2018. Gates will open at noon with performances throughout the day. The B-93 Birthday Bash will wrap up around 10 p.m. with a fireworks display.
On B-93’s own Facebook page, fan reviews of the changes were mixed.
“The ballpark is just gonna be like any old concert now …it’ll lose its touch,” wrote Charley Anne.
But Feagan says the B-93 Birthday Bash will still have a festival feel with all-day music and concert-closing fireworks.
“And around it, we always have at the B-93 Birthday Bash, activities and things to do along with it. So as much as we can do to give the ballpark a festival feel, we’ll make it that way,” he insisted.
Some fans are encouraging others to give the changes a chance.
Morgan wrote, “no worries about being turned away bc (because) of parking.”
That was a problem at past Birthday Bash venues.
“We had people at 5 a.m. at the gate pull in for the gates to open a 10. Now I’m guaranteed my seat. I know where I’m going to be, and I can sleep in on that Saturday morning,” said Feagan.
iHeart Media, which owns B-93.7, says the Birthday Bash will feature national headliners and new and upcoming artists. Names of performers will be announced at a later date.
Tickets will be available for purchase later this year.
The B-93 Birthday Bash celebrated its 25th year in June.