Archive | November, 2007

In the Arena

30 Nov

Hello there, internet world. My name is Todd Hunt and I am the director of the BancorpSouth Arena here in Tupelo. I’m also a husband, father, church member, drummer in a rock band, former youth league softball coach, and many other things, but I’m pretty sure that the Journal asked me to blog due to my job at the BancorpSouth Arena. However, we may touch upon those other topics from time to time, since this is my blog. We’ll see how this goes, as this is my first attempt at blogging…

I thought the best place to start would be with my background in the entertainment industry. I started out as a member (and later director) of Music Maker Productions, the student-run concert committee at MSU in the 80’s. Some of the shows I worked include Randy Travis, Alabama, Reba, Cheap Trick, The Smithereens, and my personal favorite the Hoodoo Gurus. From there I journeyed to Oxford (Mississippi, not England) to finish my masters degree where I advised the Student Programming Board on concerts such as Randy Travis/Alan Jackson in the Tad Pad, and drivin’n’cryin’ and the BoDeans in the Grove.

After grad school I took a job at Auburn University, again working with student programming. Reba, Alan Jackson, Widespread Panic, Better Than Ezra and Arrested Development (they put on a fantastic show) were a few of the concerts that played various campus venues during my time in Auburn.

Next stop was the UTC Arena in Chattanooga as the assistant director of the venue. Reba (she keeps following me!), Bon Jovi, the Allman Brothers (another great show), Boyz II Men, WWE, WCW, and Vince Gill all performed during my stint in Chattanooga.

This brings me to my first stint in Tupelo. I was hired by the legendary Michael Marion to be his assistant at the Tupelo Coliseum. Of course, he neglected to mention that he would soon be leaving to build a new arena in Little Rock. So, after two months of serving as his assistant, I became the director of the venue. Reba, Elton John, Gaither Homecoming, Aerosmith, Boyz II Men, Jimmy Page & Robert Plant (what an awesome show that was!), ZZ Top, Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Boston, and Lynyrd Skynyrd were a few of the highlights of my years here.

After two and a half years in Tupelo, I was offered the chance to manage Humphrey Coliseum at MSU. My family and I weren’t looking to leave Tupelo, but the chance to run the building that my father built (he was the manager from 1975-1999) was too great to pass up. Shows in Starkville during my tenure included the Goo Goo Dolls, Widespread Panic, the Gaithers, Nickelback, the Wiggles (if you don’t know who they are, ask a three year old), and the first ever performance of Ringling Brothers at MSU. Did I mention that all of these events had to be worked around MSU men’s & women’s basketball? And as I soon learned, basketball is a year round sport. If you don’t believe me, just ask Rick Stansbury…

Eight years of basketball took its toll and I decided that it was time to get back into the concert business. As fate would have it, my former building in Tupelo (now known as the BancorpSouth Arena) was looking for someone to help get it back into the concert business as well. After a few well-publicized detours, we were able to work out the details and I am now back in the same office I inhabited in 1999. So far we have been able to bring Willie Nelson and Breaking Benjamin/Three Days Grace to town, with upcoming shows by the Gaithers, Reba and Kelly Clarkson, and the Harlem Globetrotters. As long as the community supports our shows by purchasing tickets, we will continue to bring in the best entertainment possible.

Over the course of this blog, my goal is to share some of the details of what we do here at the Arena. How do we find shows? Who sets ticket prices? What is a typical day like? Why don’t you bring “fill in the blank” to town? What is it like to hang out with the stars? Of course, I’ll have to actually hang out with a star first before I can answer that last one.

So that’s my blog for this week. This weekend we’ll be celebrating with all of the little princes & princesses in the area as Disney on Ice Princess Wishes performs six shows. If you haven’t purchased your tickets yet, visit our website at to order.

Until next week,


  • LOOK HERE! The Arena is getting a lot of questions about the upcoming Aaron Neville concert. Aaron Neville, his quintet and his brother Charles Neville are all performing together. So, if you’re looking for Aaron, he’ll be there!

What’s going on – ‘Heroes,’ Fogerty, strike

29 Nov

This morning I’ve had everyone from Jay-Z to Bikini Kill to The Decemberists in my ear, so I’d say it’s a good morning so far. It’s keeping me relatively sane on a busy day, so woo-hoo. Well, that, and some chocolate almonds I bought from our education reporter, Ginny Miller, yesterday. Thank goodness for chocolate and music. 🙂


Again, speaking of NBC, have you heard of From what I hear, NBC and FOX have teamed to create the site, and on it you can watch streaming episodes of your favorite shows. I signed up, but now I have to wait to be “invited.” Should I be suspicious? I guess not. Still, I’m waiting on pins and needles, Hulu…

I steer away from controversy most times, but I’ll mention this since someone’s already commented on it. The new Nicole Kidman-Daniel Craig movie, “The Golden Compass,” has a lot of folks stirred up. Go here to read about the controversy. I have absolutely no opinion on the film at all – I obviously haven’t seen it, nor have I read the books. But, I just wanted to put that out there, as it’s garnering more and more attention.

Scene picks

29 Nov

What’s going on this weekend? All this!

  • Holiday flicks were the focus of this week’s Scene, so get out and check a few of them out. Then check back with Scene each week to see if your thoughts on the movie line up with those of M. Scott Morris and the Wizard 106 crew.
  • Good Paper is rocking Two Stick in Oxford this weekend.
  • Princesses take over the BancorpSouth Arena starting this weekend, with the new “Disney on Ice” show.
  • Order of Opinion and A Friend Once Lost take th stage at the Princess in Columbus on Saturday.
  • The Tupelo Christmas Parade is this Saturday.

What are you doing this weekend?

Movie Trailers …

29 Nov


Some holiday movie trailers are above. Check out more about them in Scene in today’s Daily Journal.

What’s going on – Top albums, the Joker

28 Nov

Good Wednesday to you.

I’ve got Dwight Yoakam in my ears and a “Waitress” DVD waiting for me at home, so I say it’s a good day. Hope you’ve got something just as well.:)


  • Linkin Park and Coheed and Cambria are touring together early next year. Not coming too close to here, but still, tour!
  • I have no idea why I’m obsessed with the thought of Heath Ledger as the Joker. Still, here’s a story with him in full Joker-face.

Don’t forget, kiddos – BancorpSouth Arena Director Todd Hunt will kick off his blog with Scene Now this Friday!

Tragic Monday: Hawthorne Heights, Quiet Riot

26 Nov

Sad, sad news this Monday:

In addition, Thanksgiving marked the 10th anniversary of the death of INXS lead singer Michael Hutchence. The band has a tribute to him here, and go here for his memorial Web site.

I can’t believe it’s been 10 years since he passed. I remember the night he died very well. I heard the news from a sketchy source and then tried to scour the Internet for more information (obviously in the time before blogs, etc.).

Hutchence was one of the best front men in music. He was magnetic, energizing, sexy, mysterious – everything a good rock ‘n’ roll singer should be.

Here’s a salute to these musicians.

INXS’s “Need You Tonight.”

What’s going on – Reunions, strike

26 Nov

Happy rainy Monday to you.

Scene Now has most exciting news for you, gentle readers. Todd Hunt, director of the BancorpSouth Arena here in Tupelo, will start blogging here on Scene Now each and every Friday.

He’ll tell you more than you ever wanted to know about the Arena – from the ins-and-outs of running the arena to answering your questions.

Check back here every Monday for Joshua Blake’s Red-Eye Report, look for entertainment news throughout the week, and you’ll find Todd Hunt’s blog here each Friday.

Now, on to a little news.

  • If you ever slowdanced to “More Than Words” – and, come on, who hasn’t? – you’ll be interested to learn this: Extreme is reuniting for a new album and tour.
  • The Black Friday sales continue, and if I didn’t already have this, I’d totally get it: You can buy the entire series of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” today on Amazon for roughly $100. It usually goes for $200, so if you want this, jump on it.

Look for Joshua Blake’s Red-Eye Report next Monday.