Teen sensation Jonas Brothers kick off the 2008 @Ross Summer Series, which runs August 9 – 23. Following their noon performance, the brothers will...

Teen sensation Jonas Brothers kick off the 2008 @Ross Summer Series, which runs August 9 – 23. Following their noon performance, the brothers will be flown by helicopter to Manhattan for their Madison Square Garden concert later that night.

Launched last year as Social @Ross, a five-concert series on the grounds of the Hampton, NY Ross School, the series garnered a lot of media attention for its exorbitant $15,000 series package price tag to see Prince, Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds, Billy Joel, James Taylor and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. No single tickets were initially sold but were later made available at $3,000 each.

The series was a financial disaster for Warner Music Group (WMG), which bought the series from promoter, Bulldog Entertainment; WMG cited an $18 million impairment in a financial statement this past January for its purchase.

What is different this year is that the Ross School is producing the series themselves with Empire Entertainment consulting; every event is a benefit for the school with 100 % of the proceeds going directly to the school’s programs and scholarships, and the Ross School Series will be yearlong. Last year’s tented outdoors shows are going inside this year at the Great Hall with a 700-person capacity.

“It’s a whole new beginning this year, no one from last year is involved,” Empire Entertainment co-founder J. B. Miller tells Ticketnews, “and we hope the marketplace will acknowledge this. We are marketing to the Hamptons crowd, which is also an international audience. The events are 100% supporting the school, which serves the children and the community.”

This year’s format also offers more variety and something for all ages, such as Theatre shows featuring Michael Cavanaugh, who was personally chosen by Billy Joel to be the star of “Movin’ Out”, South Pacific’s Kelli O’Hara, Gypsy’s Laura Benanti, Rent’s Daphne Rubin-Vega, Producer’s Kady Huffman and Jersey Boy’s John Lloyd Young. A Well-Being event that includes Urban Zen Foundation founder Donna Karan, best-selling author and lecturer Marianne Williamson, mini-spa services and classes for the day. In addition to its contemporary and R&B music component that includes B-52’s (date tba), Jonas Brothers and Aretha Franklin, there will also be a Cuisine & Wine event created by Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group.

Single tickets for the Theater event are $500; Jonas Brothers are $1,500; where $925 is tax-deductible; Well-Being, $750; and Cuisine & Wine; $1,000. Ticket prices for Franklin will range from $1,000 individual tickets to tables for $12,500, $25,000 and $50,000. Benefactor tickets to sponsor at-risk youth from the New York area are $150.

There is also a special VIP package, dubbed Founder’s Circle, for $10,000 that includes two tickets to a musical concert plus two tickets to a non-music event, meet and greet to one of the selected events and on-site parking.

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2008 @Ross Summer Series line-up:
Dates subject to change

August 9 Jonas Brothers
August 18 Theatre
August 20 Well-Being
August 22 Cuisine & Wine
August 23 Aretha Franklin

Events to be scheduled for later this year and in 2009 include the B-52s @ Ross, Classical @ Ross featuring Joshua Bell, Denyce Graves and Emanuel Ax; Film @ Ross featuring A Tribute to Sydney Pollack; and Comedy @ Ross featuring Seth Meyers with Greg Giraldo, among others.