Fred Caserta - Non Performer
BMHOF Class of 2013
Promoter, Agent, Co-founder of Kingdom Bound
Fred Caserta was a booking agent and promoter who started out as a secular rock promoter in the 1960’s and 70’s and would later co-found the nondenominational Christian Music Festival, Kingdom Bound.
In the late 1960’s Fred was involved in the careers of future Buffalo Music Hall of Famers Big Wheelie and the Hubcaps and The Road. While managing these two bands, Fred was also working at Great Lakes Booking, the biggest booking agency in Western New York at the time. Great Lakes Booking was responsible for booking live entertainment into a significant amount of nightclubs in Buffalo and the surrounding area. During this time, the company booked acts such as Weekend, Cock Robin, Talas, Big Wheelie and the Hubcaps, Light Years and many others.
In 1977 Fred branched out on his own and formed a management/booking agency named Starstruck Productions. During this time Fred handled the careers of Talas, Cock Robin and Big Wheelie while presenting an alternative to clubs when booking talent. This new company allowed Fred to do what he liked to do best, work with talent, mold them and direct their future. And, hopefully, hit it big. To that end he staged showcases for record labels such as Capitol, Atlantic, Arista, Columbia and others to see the talent Buffalo had to offer. But, for whatever reason, nobody was getting signed so Fred took matters into his own hands. He helped artists record albums on there own and release them locally to help build up enough “buzz” to make the major labels listen. All of Fred’s acts recorded and released local records with Talas having the most success with “See Saw”, selling over 10,000 albums.
With the regional success of Talas and other bands, the company was establishing itself as a credible business in Buffalo and areas outside of Western New York. However, in the midst of this success in the mid-eighties, Fred had an accident that sidelined him from the office for over a year. During this time he felt a calling and decided it was time to move on and do something new. Along with Mike Caputy, BMHOF Class of 2002, he co-founded a Christian music festival named Kingdom Bound Ministries.Both Caserta and Caputy came out of the rock culture and understood the importance of contemporary Christian music.
The festival Fred helped buildhad the odds stacked against it from the beginning. It is a nondenominational, Christian, multiday gathering, that takes place in the Northeast. It started out in frigid temperatures in 1987 with 6,000 attendees at Darien Lake Amusement Park andnow regularly draws between 40,000 and 50,000 visitors over its four days. Kingdom Bound is a unique success compared to any similarly sized music festival, religious or otherwise.Fred and his staff essentially brought “church” to an amusement park, a non-intimidating place, and hundreds of thousands of people have traveled from near and far to praise God next to rides and roller coasters.
Fred Caserta succumbed to cancer in 2006 but his body of work lives on. He is responsible for much of the history of the Buffalo music scene, secular and Christian, and is truly worthy of induction in the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame.
Back - 2013