FARMINGTON —Longtime concert promoter Mark Amo and Zebra's Sports Grill owner Lance Johnson are teaming up to bring country music concerts and other events to Farmington.

Their first show together pairs country musician Jerrod Niemann with Gloriana. The concert is set for Oct. 25 at the Farmington Civic Center.

Amo and Johnson were introduced at Zebra's. They quickly got to talking and decided to form partnership rather than compete to bring in acts.

"We're doing this to get people back in the habit of going to concerts in Farmington," Johnson said. "People are spending a lot of money to go to Albuquerque for acts that we could bring to Farmington."

Amo has promoted concerts for more than 20 years. He's now promoting on his own after working for seven years at the Phil L. Thomas Performing Arts Center in Shiprock. His position with Central Consolidated School District, which owns the venue, was eliminated in April.

Amo now lives in Albuquerque, so he's partnering with Johnson, a local businessman with deep connections in the area.

"I try to develop real quality relationships," Amo said. He operates through Mark Amo Presents LLC, doing business as Fource Concerts.

Amo brought acts such as the Indigo Girls, Gretchen Wilson and Joe Nichols to the Phil!, as the Shiprock venue is known.


Johnson has brought several performers to the Civic Center, including the comedian Gallagher in November 2010. Johnson controls the Civic Center's liquor license.

"I'm always looking for new opportunities in addition to Zebra's," Johnson said.

The Farmington Civic Center seats approximately 1,200. About half of those seats are already sold for Niemann's concert.

Tickets to the Niemann show range from $20 to $50. All of the $50 tickets are sold, but more than half the venue's seats are available for $20, Amo said.

Amo and Johnson hope to attract quality acts to Farmington, which lacks the sort of large venue that would attract the biggest names. Major country acts such as Kenny Chesney demand at least 20,000 seats.

"Right now we have to focus on what we have facilities for," Johnson said.

Top Deck and McGee Park also host concerts in Farmington.

Amo and Johnson have agreed to bring a second concert to the Civic Center on Dec. 1. Chris Cagle, another well-known country musician, will headline that show.

The genre is popular in Farmington and throughout the U.S., Amo said.

"Country, to me, is obvious," he said.

Some other genres present issues, the promoters said. Most hard rock concerts are standing, for example. The Civic Center has seated performances.

"It's hard to do a hard rock concert at the Civic Center," Johnson said.

The promoters may also have to contend with Northern Edge Navajo Casino, which the promoters said plans to open a new concert venue.

"That will change the landscape," Amo said.

Officials with the Navajo Nation Gaming Enterprise did not return messages seeking comment Friday.

Casinos tend to outbid independent promoters, and make up the difference in gaming dollars, Amo said.

Amo said he welcomes the competition, because more concerts will be good for everybody. If all goes well in Farmington, Amo plans to expand to other New Mexico cities.

"I do intend to create jobs in the next year," he said.

Tickets for the Jerrod Niemann with Gloriana concert are available online at, or by phone at 855-4FOURCE (855-436-8723).