After closing his two Lava Cantina restaurants in Baton Rouge, Ian Vaughn is shifting his business focus to the live entertainment industry, working with the Raising Cane’s River Center in an effort to bring concerts to the city.
Vaughn’s business—Rock N Concepts—began helping the River Center attract concert tours in late 2018. Three shows have been lined up in what Vaughn describes as a trial run to gauge which type of music tours are best suited for Baton Rouge.
Vaughn’s team has been building relationships in the music industry for years through his Rock N Concepts business, which brought live entertainment to Lava Cantina, including its still-open Dallas location, and other venues.
While Baton Rouge isn’t typically considered a concert tour destination, Vaughn says the city has potential because of its location.
“For us, it’s great because it’s an easy tour stop as we’re booking other states and cities like Dallas, Houston, Austin,” he says. “Popping through the Baton Rouge market makes a ton of sense for us.”
The three tours Rock N Concepts booked for the River Center in 2019 include:
- MUDDFEST, featuring rock artists from the early 2000s, such as Puddle of Mudd, Saliva, Trapt, Saving Abel and Tantric, on March 21
- Carnivàle Icône, featuring EDM artist Steve Aoki along with Nelly, a Lil Jon DJ Set, Riot Ten and Kryoman on April 11
- Outlaws & Renegades Tour, featuring Travis Tritt, Charlie Daniels Band and Cadillac 3 on June 30
As expected, the best audience response so far has been for the country tour, Outlaws & Renegades, as the genre historically has done well in Baton Rouge.
Unlike the other two shows, Carnivàle was created by and owned by Rock N Concepts. Marketing for that show will amp up once college students recent from holiday break.
If the first three River Center shows do well, Vaughn says he hopes to bring as many as one tour per month to Baton Rouge.
Though there’s no contractual relationship between the two, the River Center is giving Rock N Concepts a “specified pricing structure” to help attract artists to Baton Rouge.
River Center officials could not be reached for comment by today’s deadline.