Panic Gets Theatrical For May Show
Widespread Panic's May 9 show at Atlanta's Fox Theatre will be simulcast at movie screens nationwide through a deal with Regal Cinemas and National Cinemedia.Widespread Panic's May 9 show at Atlanta's Fox Theatre will be simulcast at movie screens nationwide through a deal with Regal Cinemas and National Cinemedia. Director Eric Cochran will shoot the concert, which fans can view live for $15 at 150 Regal, United Artists and Edwards screens coast to coast.
The Fox show, to be preceded by a May 8 performance to work out technical issues, will come on the heels of April 21-22 dates at the 20,000-capacity Alltel Pavilion in Raleigh, N.C., to complete the band's spring live work.
The cinema deal is geared to set up the Widespread/Sanctuary Records June 13 release of the new Panic album "Earth to America," which is also the title of the simulcast. The album's production wrapped in January at Compass Point in Nassau, with veteran producer Terry Manning twisting the knobs.
Buck Williams, Panic's agent and co-manager at Progressive Global Artists, hopes the simulcast deal will help the album make a bigger splash. "To me, the most attractive thing about doing this is the promotional value we get," he tells Billboard. "People who don't know or see Widespread Panic will not only be exposed to them in the lobbies at Regal Cinemas with posters but also in the coming attractions at all these theaters."
A live Widespread/Sanctuary DVD will follow; a summer tour begins June 21 in Kansas City. "We're still determining how many dates and where we're going," Williams says. "I've got four different routings we're going to consider. We do know we'll top the Grateful Dead's total sellouts record at Red Rocks [near Denver] this summer."