Drury partners with Gillioz for concerts; Nelson & Haggard play OFEC April 8

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Jan. 11, 2015 — Drury University’s O’Reilly Family Event Center and the Gillioz Theater are forming a strategic partnership with the aim of boosting Springfield’s profile on the national concert tour scene and bringing more live music to the Ozarks.

Under the new framework, Geoff Steele, executive director of the Gillioz, will book concerts and handle all day-of operations for shows at the OFEC. The move pairs the booking, promoting and customer service expertise of the Gillioz with Drury’s state-of-the-art mid-sized concert venue. It also leverages the two venues’ sizes (1,100 seats and 3,000 seats respectively) for booking. The partnership does not affect athletic events at OFEC.

Willie Nelson on stage with Merle Haggard.

Willie Nelson on stage with Merle Haggard.

The first concert to fall under the new framework is being announced today: Willie Nelson, together in concert with Merle Haggard, will perform on Friday, April 8 at the OFEC. Tickets start at $64 and are available starting at 10 a.m., Friday, Jan. 15 at www.drurytickets.com or by calling (417) 873-6389. Tickets may also be purchased in person at the OFEC box office, which is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays.

Nelson and Haggard are true legends of American music. Both are Country Music Hall of Famers who have combined to release more than 200 singles and topped the Billboard Country Singles Chart more than 50 times. Beyond their chart success, Nelson and Haggard have influenced countless songwriters and performers over the decades. Their 2015 record “Django and Jimmie” is the sixth album collaboration between the two singers, and debuted at #1 on the Billboard Country Album Charts.

About the Partnership

Officials at the Gillioz and Drury say the partnership is a win-win-win for both institutions and local music fans.

The Gillioz has experienced high growth in ticket sales and a steady increase in the frequency and quality of acts on its stage over the last decade, Steele says. The OFEC has seen several hit shows in the last several years, including the Avett Brothers, Kelly Clarkson, and the Steve Miller Band.

“We are both positioning ourselves to enhance life in the Ozarks and enhance Springfield’s standing as a destination for tours,” Steele says. “When promoters inquire with us, I’ll have the ability to offer them both venues as an option for their artists.”

The Gillioz’s strong social media presence and track record of customer service will serve OFEC patrons well, says Rob Fridge, Drury’s chief financial officer and director of the OFEC’s entertainment programming.

“Drury excels in academics and athletics,” Fridge says. “We want to excel when it comes to delivering live entertainment to the community in this fantastic venue, and we’re partnering with one of the best to help us do just that. This takes our recent track record of success to a new level going forward.”

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