Orlando Calling draws fewer than expected



ORLANDO, Fla.,None - Crews are still cleaning up after the two-day Orlando Calling music festival at the Citrus Bowl, but the event may not have been such a huge success after all.

Lackluster ticket sales may mean the event won't return next year.

The promoter of the event told WFTV he was expecting at least 100,000 people for the two-day festival, but he said it turned out to be about half of the number he expected.

The organizer said he expected to lose money, but probably not this much.

It was a full-size music festival, one of the largest the city of Orlando has ever seen.

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The music festival included five stages and dozens of bands, including Kid Rock, Bob Seger and The Killers.

Despite the thumbs-up from fans, it's unclear if the event will draw promoters back.

Malvin Benn is the man who took the risk.

He told WFTV the turnout was about half of what he wanted, costing him a lot of money.

"It's a big hole in the pocket, I'll tell you that," said Benn.

When asked how much he lost, he replied, "Oh, a couple of million plus really, so it's been a tough one."

Concert-goers noticed the less-than-packed Citrus Bowl, too.

Lisa Perna, who attended Sunday’s show to watch Kid Rock, said the festival should have advertised better to attract bigger crowds.

“More people should have been here. This is too big of an event for Orlando for people to have missed,” said Perna.

Still, local businesses such as hotels, restaurants and bars benefitted financially from the festival. 

It is estimated every visitor spent at least $1,000, including the ticket price and to stay, eat and drink in Orlando.  The concert also employed 5,000 people for security, concessions and stage change overs. 

But if Benn is not turning a profit, he said he may not be able to bring Orlando Calling back again next year.

“I'm working out the numbers. I’m hoping to, but it has been expensive,” said Benn.

Benn has done plenty of big festivals before and said it takes about three years to finally turn a profit.