Wilma Paralyzes South Florida

It was clear at press time that the frustration caused by Hurricane Wilma was increasing with emergency supplies dwindling in Miami and as many as 6 million people without power; some expected to be without power for weeks. How the music scene in Florida was affected was less clear.

The category 3 hurricane hit land October 24th, causing billions of dollars in damage across Florida, mainly in Broward and Miami-Dade counties. At least seven people were killed, and millions had a tough time locating gasoline, a working ATM or a phone line that dialed out.

Calling Florida was equally problematic. Pollstar could not reach venues in the southern part of the state, except Miami’s AmericanAirlines Arena.

“The arena has power,” booking director Eric Bresler said from his cell phone, “but we had to cancel Luis Miguel on Friday and Saturday (October 28-29) because of the fact that in the community, there’s no power. Our building was not damaged; we’re fine.”

Unfortunately, the same was not true for the BankAtlantic Center in Sunshine, home to pro hockey’s Florida Panthers. There was minor damage to a membrane covering the roof and ripped awnings, according to reports. The venue was running on a power generator at press time and an October 29th visit by the Washington Capitals was postponed.

The Panthers were expected to visit Philadelphia to play the Flyers October 27th and planned to bring back bottled water and other items that were in short supply in Florida, a team spokesman said.

Known cancellations or postponements included an October 31st concert by Nine Inch Nails at the BankAtlantic Center and Danzig at Ft. Lauderdale’s Revolution October 29th. A Bon Jovi pre-sale for an upcoming Bank Atlantic Center show was pushed back a week.

A Carl Cox show at Miami’s Cro-Bar was still set to go for October 29th, according to the DJ’s booking agency.