'Bands of Enchantment' moves production
September 21, 2022
Those on social media might have noticed the company that produced the “Bands of Enchantment” music television series in Tucumcari about 18 months ago has resumed production in Albuquerque for its second season.
Elkhorn Entertainment began shooting 10 national music acts’ performances at Albuquerque Rail Yards Market earlier this month and is scheduled to wrap production next week.
During the first-season production of “Bands of Enchantment” in the spring of 2021, the City of Tucumcari gave Elkhorn $120,000 in lodgers tax funds to help defray some of those costs. Elkhorn, which envisions the show as a New Mexico version of PBS’ long-running “Austin City Limits,” spent several weeks in Tucumcari shooting performances by nationally touring and New Mexico-based artists.
Last fall, Elkhorn requested $300,000 from in motel tax funds for Season 2, but that was too steep of a figure for city officials who saw little discernible tourism return on the investment.
“Bands of Enchantment” creator Ken Peterson said last week Elkhorn tried to land a national sponsor that would knock down that figure, but to no avail.
Peterson said his company could not come down in its funding request to the city without that sponsor, so Elkhorn began to look elsewhere.
Brenna Moore, director of communications at Albuquerque’s tourism office, stated in an email Friday the “Bands of Enchantment” production received a grant from the New Mexico Tourism Department’s cooperative marketing grant program.
“The total media purchase of $300,000 was supported by a 2:1 match, meaning that the New Mexico Tourism Department provided $200,000 and Visit Albuquerque provided $100,000,” Moore wrote.
Peterson added that Elkhorn wouldn’t have been eligible for New Mexico Film Office tax credits until its production cost reached $500,000.
In the meantime, “Bands of Enchantment: Tucumcari Sessions” continues to be broadcast on PBS-TV stations in San Francisco, Denver, Phoenix, Nashville, Memphis, Detroit, Chicago, New York City, Jacksonville, North Carolina and other markets.
Counting the PBS app, the show has a potential reach of more than 220 million viewers. Re-broadcasts of the episodes will continue for another 18 months.
The first season of “Bands of Enchantment” also recently was added to the tuBee platform and its base of 52 million subscribers.
“It’s getting an incredible reach and has generated a lot of praise,” Peterson said.
Peterson said he remains proud of the work Elkhorn did in Tucumcari. He said co-executive producer Vince T. Chavez recently dropped off 500 “Bands of Enchantment” T-shirts and other items to businesses and entities in Tucumcari while on his way to Albuquerque.
“We will always find a way to work with Tucumcari,” Peterson said.
With that remark, Peterson was asked whether Elkhorn had left the door open to work with Tucumcari on a future production.
He said he couldn’t be specific but acknowledged there was a possibility that could happen.
“It’s quite incredible how the show has gone,” he said.