Make us your home page
Instagram

Country club manager deals with perils of booking live entertainment

Joe Brooks is the food and beverage director at Quail Hollow Country Club in Wesley Chapel.

BRENDAN FITTERER | Times

Joe Brooks is the food and beverage director at Quail Hollow Country Club in Wesley Chapel.

WESLEY CHAPEL — On a recent Friday night, Joe Brooks had to deal with the downside of booking bands for the Quail Hollow Country Club main stage. When a singer on-stage drank too much and spewed profanity at a crowd of nearly 500 diners and dancers on the poolside patio, Brooks jumped into action.

"They can sabotage themselves," Brooks said, "but not our business. Let's just say that they're no longer on our calendar."

Brooks is a youthful 48-year-old whose mastery of social media keeps him on top of the local music scene.

"You wouldn't believe the number of people who approach us," he said. "We do our due diligence by reviewing Youtube, demos and checking references."

He was appointed the country club's entertainment/food and beverage director in 2011 and describes his work as a joy. Over the past year he's overseen the growing popularity of weekend live performances at the 174-acre Wesley Chapel property that includes an 18-hole golf course and is open to the public. He also supervises Karaoke night, Saturday weddings and Sunday brunches.

"These days our demographic wants to get away from country toward Top 40 cover bands," Brooks said. "Our goal is to mix up musical styles and to get the ladies out here."

Contract negotiations with bands include scheduling, access, promotion and production needs for groups of no less than four pieces. The sound is designed to cover the 50,000-square-foot venue.

The club's lineup includes monthly appearances by local rockers Troy Duncan Band, Wild Ginger and Woody and the Nutcrackers, scheduled throughout October. Lester Freeman and the D Band make their Quail Hollow debut Oct. 25 with their veteran sweet soul sounds.

Other attractions include the Greg Billings Band and Main Stream, a nine-piece band whose lead singer, Christine Papp is a former high school assistant principal.

"Greg Billings is a fun show band, and Main Stream has quite a following among Christine's former students," Brooks said.

But the biggest crowds roll in for quarterly Sunday Biker Bashes. The Labor Day biker bash drew 2,000 guests.

"We're known to be biker friendly," Brooks said, "and we advertise in Born To Ride magazine."

Last Sept. 7, 500 Pasco County choppers participated in the 9-11 gratitude charity ride that delivered commemorative plaques to three firehouses and ended at Quail Hollow.

"We've never cancelled a Friday party due to weather," Brooks said. "We look at the radar and are prepared to move the amps indoors. Or we might go acoustic until the rain subsides."

General manager Marisa Starling arrived from Houston three months ago and is focused on developing a steakhouse menu and improved staff services. The 34-year-old is a marketing graduate of Michigan State with hospitality experience from the Don Cesar Resort and Hard Rock Cafe.

"Joe and I coordinate on the entertainment side," Starling said. "Our aim is to appeal to the widest variety of musical and dining tastes."

Country club manager deals with perils of booking live entertainment 10/10/13 [Last modified: Friday, October 11, 2013 3:36pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Trigaux: Closing Iron Yard coding school hits area tech hard but leaders talk of options

    Business

    The coming shutdown this fall of the Iron Yard software coding school in downtown St. Petersburg — announced this month as part of a national closing of all 15 Iron Yard locations — remains a shocking event to a Tampa Bay technology community that dreams big of becoming a major player in the Southeast if not …

    In better days last fall, friends and family of graduates at The Iron Yard, based in the Station House in downtown St. Petersburg, applaud during "Demo Day" when grads of the coding school show off their skills. Despite the local success and strong job placement by the coding school, The Iron Yard is closing all of its 15 locations across the country this summer. [LARA CERRI   |   Times]
  2. U.S. economy gathers steam in second quarter

    Business

    WASHINGTON — The U.S. economy revved up this spring after a weak start to the year, fueled by strong consumer spending. But the growth spurt still fell short of the optimistic goals President Donald Trump hopes to achieve through tax cuts and regulatory relief.

    A government report released Friday showed economic output picked up in the second quarter. 
[Associated Press file photo]
  3. Founder of Tampa home sharing platform questions Airbnb, NAACP partnership

    Business

    TAMPA — A Tampa rival to Airbnb, which was launched because of discrimination complaints on the dominant home sharing platform, has concerns about the new partnership between Airbnb and NAACP announced this week.

    Rohan Gilkes poses for a portrait at his home and business headquarters in Tampa. 

Innclusive, a Tampa-based start-up, is a home-sharing platform that focuses on providing a positive traveling experience for minorities. [CHARLIE KAIJO | Times]
  4. Appointments at Port Tampa Bay and Tampa General Medical Group highlight this week's Tampa Bay business Movers & Shakers

    Business

    Government

    Port Tampa Bay announced that Jamal Sowell has been named director of special projects. Sowell, a former member of the U.S.Marine Corps, will support internal, external and special projects, assist the executive team with management oversight and serve as a liaison on a variety of port …

    Port Tampa Bay announced this week that Jamal Sowell has been named director of special projects. [Handout photo]
  5. Drones restrictions coming at Tampa Bay area airports

    Airlines

    Starting Sept. 1, Tampa International Airport officials will be enforcing new height restrictions for drones and other unmanned aircraft systems, according to a press release.

    In this February 2017 file photo, a drone flies in Hanworth Park in west London. Starting Sept. 1, Tampa International Airport officials will be enforcing new height restrictions for drones and other unmanned aircraft systems,
[John Stillwell/PA via AP, File]