Top 10 Tampa music stories of 2011, No. 2: Bill Edwards transforms the 'Burg
We knew back in 2009 that local entertainment magnate Bill Edwards was serious about transforming the Pinellas County entertainment scene. That’s when he and Jeff Knight began unveiling ambitious new plans for a reinvented Jannus Live, which to this point, has become a pretty big success.
Edwards soon departed the Jannus Live project, but he hasn't slowed down at all. First, he took over the Club at Treasure Island, and turned a staid upper-crust resort into a venue that booked bands like Three Dog Night and the Plain White T’s, and comics like Richard Lewis and Colin Quinn.
But Edwards truly made his presence known in St. Pete in 2011. First, there was his radical reinvention of the Taste of Pinellas whose 2011 music lineup included Colbie Caillat, Chris Isaak, Buddy Guy, Bonnie Raitt, Third Eye Blind and Josh Turner. Then there was his takeover of the Mahaffey Theater, which immediately began competing for acts with Ruth Eckerd Hall and the Straz Center. Why, just this week, Cee-Lo Green took the stage there. Shoot, Edwards even brought Martina McBride to Demens Landing, a heretofore unexplored concert venue in downtown St. Pete. City officials fell all over themselves finding new ways to praise Edwards for the job he’s done the past two years in St. Petersburg.
All this activity kind of makes you wonder what he has in store for BayWalk, doesn’t it?