Looking ahead to 2012…

It’s that time of year my professional line of work (construction) tends to wind down a bit due to weather and, as the snowflakes fall, I want to recall a warmer, more enjoyable time of the year… Late-May.

Looking to Mays both past and ahead, just 168 days remain to departure for the 2012 Indy 500 trip. I begin to think about details and planning and improvements to the previous trip which leads to that monumental answer to the annual question that I cannot pose soon enough…


Monumental stuff to be sure as I have a fair group of people who are able only to come down for Carb Day and overnight, not the whole of the weekend. 

Plans must be made. Budgets combed through. Proper food and accommodation must be arranged. I take my trip and my hospitality VERY seriously. I also realize the band is very likely not selected at this point, so if the decision-makers are in the house, I’d like to offer my annual suggestions for Carb Day band selection, in no particular order…

On the heels of what was, in my opinion, a (maybe shouldn’t be, yet very surprisingly) great show by ZZ Top in 2010, my standard is found in a veteran touring band with musical chops, extensive catalog and popularity, and ability to easily rock the 19-49 year-old demographic equally. 

I submit for your consideration three HUGELY popular bands currently available in mid-2012:

1. Red Hot Chili Peppers

2. Pearl Jam


OK, so the third option was facetious but the point could be made that ABBA is equally attractive as your crapcore bands such as Papa Roach or other infamous representative markers of a genre, depending on the audience you are attempting to attract. A broad appeal is always better if sheer volume of traffic is your goal, HOWEVER…I would like to propose an idea which isn’t totally original yet would seem to be a great way to appeal to a more broad spectrum – adopt a single-day/festival approach. 

Instead of a single headline Carb Day band with smaller bands during the Month of May schedule, (of which most have a minor audience), bring that variety of bands (much as you have already) but allow them all to play on Carb Day. Two separate stage areas – one larger stage as we have today, and a smaller one down near the Turn 3-4 area. Have each of 4 to 6 bands play 60-75 maximum minutes with the two stages going concurrently. 

Two bands on the larger Miller Lite Stage is really no different than what exists today, with more popular (read: current) bands, one skewing to the younger set and one to the older demographics. On the smaller stage, incorporate other popular styles such as Jam Bands or other bands representative of different eras (read: Big Bad Voodoo Daddy as swing, etc.). IMS is certainly large enough to house two stages in this manner and the result is very likely a win-win as I see it.

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway has a rich and extensive history. To honor the many traditions and eras as possible on Carb Day would seem to make it a richer experience for more attendees, and also could very well be more lucrative for IMS by charging the paltry sum of $40-50 (or double what was charged in 2011 and 4 times the 2009 rate) for an ‘all-you-care-to-experience’ of Carb Day in the future.

4 thoughts on “Looking ahead to 2012…”

  1. The track has no say over it as Miller uses their own agent. The budget is also paltry for the size of the event. That's why you're never going to see a massive band like that on Carb Day unless they just want to do it for fun.


  2. I thought the idea WAS to have fun. Too bad the decision-makers (bean-counters in this case?) seem to have little idea what would draw more people in to a world class event weekend. Given my age (44), I'm certainly not saying I have province over what band would be the best, yet I'm far more frequently disappointed than excited about the band. Believe me, I understand how corporations often get to their final decision and in this case it seems the point is often missed, which is why I propose an alternate idea for the music…


  3. You are correct sir, IMS announced Skynyrd will headline Carb Day.Also you are correct about losing band members in a plane crash. Three of the original five members along with some management and others, died in a plane crash late Oct '77 on the very cusp of a new tour, album release, and rising popularity. (source:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lynyrd_Skynyrd). I wouldn't say I'm a huge fan, but to me I'd much rather have these guys than what we had last year. Maybe it's a generational thing, which is precisely why I suggest the festival-styled, multiple stage/bands idea above which could appeal to so many more fans over the course of Carb Day and the weekend.


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