Swimming At The Beach Boys

A Beach Boys concert alongside a lake in Fort Dodge, Iowa, got canceled June 25th after almost 11 inches of rain fell in a 48-hour period. The weather submersed equipment and required organizer Jim Reed to break the bad news to 5,000 fans moments before show time.

“It was an extremely rough day,” Reed told Pollstar. “The night before the show, we had 6-and-a-half inches of rain. The water level rose where it actually came up underneath our stage, halfway up a 36-foot-deep stage.”

Since 2001, Reed, an office equipment sales manager, has been organizing the Shellabration – a series of concerts that benefits the city’s historical Oleson Park Bandshell. The bandshell is currently undergoing a $950,000 renovation, and the Beach Boys concert was scheduled for Kennedy Park at a venue on the shore of Badger Lake.

The lake is usually very stable and contingency plans were in place, but the 11 inches of rain was beyond the pale, Reed said. It was especially disappointing because tickets for the Beach Boys sold better than any Shellabration concert so far, he added.

The first 6-and-a-half inches fell a day after the June 23rd load in, sinking lighting equipment and causing front-of-house problems. Equipment carrying cases ended up floating in the lake.

The parking area got flooded as well, so Reed and his volunteers worked out a shuttle system using 10 school buses and about 10 city buses, which apparently worked well for ingress but became an issue when the crowd needed to evacuate quickly.

Reed and company also had to bring in a soundboard at the last second.

“Just as we were getting ready to deliver a show … probably about 10:15 p.m., we had a severe thunderstorm warning,” Reed said. “Then all hell broke loose and we got another three inches.”

At 10:45 p.m., Reed told the crowd it was a no go; he said most patrons were understanding.

“You’ll always have people who will not understand the logistics of running an outdoor show, but we’ve delivered five successful years of some of the biggest things to happen in our community, and our community is very appreciative of that.”

The show is likely to be rescheduled for July 23rd, Reed said.

— Joe Reinartz