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Concert promotor questions the silence

John Procaccini, partner at the Upstage Center Theatre in Carson City

My name is John Procaccini, a name that has been mentioned quite a bit in these parts lately because my partner John Pappenfort and I are the promoters of the Sierra Starlight Amphitheater.

Our inaugural year (summer 2002) kicked off in the Historical Mormon Station State Park in Genoa, which followed our assisting (donating) the Sesquicentennial celebration in June 2001 with the same stage and similar sound and lighting used in this summer’s concert series.

Our planning and implementation process was quite extensive and relied on the assistance of state parks personnel as well as the town of Genoa and Douglas County officials. While I don’t believe it was clear to these entities as to the caliber of concert series we were planning, they were all helpful. They made certain via contract that we held to the terms and conditions of our agreement.



Our first event, set in a beautiful, first-class venue was more than we as promoters could hope for. It ran a bit over curfew. It woke up area neighbors. For the first time in our 10-month planning and presenting process and for the next eight weeks they made themselves heard. More attention was given to this quaint, cultural concert series than we could have ever imagined. My partner and I were turned into defendants rather than music presenters. Together we have been in the music industry for more than 50 years.

By now, it is public knowledge and fact that we and the Sierra Starlight have been denied by the town of Genoa a permit to conduct our concert series in 2003. This denial came following our request to be placed on the Dec. 10 agenda of the town meeting. A similar request was simultaneously sent to the regional manager of state parks, Mark Kimbrough.




Within 48 hours we received a letter in reply to our request from Mr. Kimbrough stating they will no longer support “concert series.” I assume this means all concerts. Last year, Mr. Kimbrough was in full support of the series, commended us publicly how we handled ourselves in the application process, how we performed according to our agreement during the concert series. We have a letter from him stating as much.

This year there has been a 180 degree twist. Mr. Kimbrough, who retired from state parks on Dec. 18 as regional manager, seems to have been taking his directive from another office, the offices of Mr. Wayne Perock and Mr. Michael Turnipseed, two highly positioned officials with the state parks administration.

While Mr. Kimbrough states publicly that we were allowed to apply for the permit, a letter from him to me clearly states we’ve been denied. When inquiring via e-mail with Mr. Perock about the application process and as to how we can be denied prior to filling out an application for 2003, Mr. Perock’s reply was also with a clear denial.

Is it possible that this unfair denial of due process is being driven by Mr. Turnipseed who, 1) is a resident of the Kinsey Way/Genoa contingent that was the group mainly opposed to the concert series, 2) is using his state position to influence a community matter, 3) Was in blatant conflict of interest when he, at the August 2002 Town Meeting, went on record saying, “over his dead body will these concerts happen in this park again.”

What happened to the due process? Where was our right and the rights of others to be able to apply for the special use permit required to use the park facility? At least Genoa Town Board went through the motions, our right of due process was honored, voting was fair and we live with the outcome.

There will be a Sierra Starlight in 2003 some where in Northern Nevada. There are counties and cities that realize the value of such a music series and wish to keep it alive. Maybe state parks was simply too close to the loud complaining that turned out to be louder than the music will ever be. Oh well, there’s lots of beautiful land here and we look forward to using it for great music events.

John Procaccini is senior partner at the Upstage Center Theatre in

Carson City. He may be reached at (775) 882-8900, ext. 101.


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