Lorie Line Buses Fans

Lorie Line angered some when she decided to proceed with a performance at Sioux Falls, S.D.’s Washington Pavilion despite a harsh blizzard, but the pianist found a way to make it up to fans who couldn’t weather the storm.

The November 28th show went on as planned even though much of the city and state had been shut down. Nearly half of the 1,000 ticket holders stayed home rather than attempt to drive in bad weather.

Because Line – who self-promoted the show – has a no-refund clause in her contract, fans weren’t able to get their money back for tickets that cost $30 to $50. So Line bought a half-page ad in the local paper offering fans a free bus ride to a December 19th concert in Sioux City, Iowa.

“We had a really cute ad that said, ‘Thanks to all of you who weathered the storm. For those of you who didn’t, the ride’s on us,'” Line told Pollstar. “And they don’t know this, but I’ll appear on the bus after the show and say hi to everybody.”

Two busloads are already full, she said. Along with the door-to-door bus service, the pianist is offering a free dinner. For those who can’t make the December 19th performance, Line is offering credit to a future gig in the area.

“It should be a hoot,” she said.

Meanwhile, Washington Pavilion spokesman Michael Williamson said officials advised Line to call off the show, but since the 1,900-seat venue served mainly as a rental hall for the performance, the only solution would’ve been to shut down the facility.

“The only time we close down the Pavilion is when city offices are closed,” Williamson told Pollstar.

Because city employees finished that day, officials were forced to remain open. Williamson said many people were surprised the concert went on as planned.

“In South Dakota when we have that kind of weather, it’s pretty much a done deal that schools, businesses and extra curricular events generally get canceled,” he said.

Line – who performed three nights in the city – said the whole thing was a sticky situation.

“Had we not done the show, what would I have done with the 500 people who were there?” she said. “We wanted to play to whoever would come and we thought we’d assess the damages later. This was the best we could do. I don’t know if we could’ve done anything better.”

Mitchell Peters