Wet Lynyrd Refunding

An evening of rain forced Lynyrd Skynyrd to cancel a July 4th concert at a minor league baseball stadium in Salisbury, Md., and the band has decided to pitch in and compensate the fans after the promoter held a two-week refund.

Skynyrd was scheduled to play the Arthur W. Perdue Stadium at 10:30 p.m., but three storms hit the area like clockwork at 7:30, 9:30 and at showtime, stadium GM Stephen Yaros told Pollstar. An opening band was able to perform, but the stage was waterlogged by 10:30 and Skynyrd’s road manager called the show.

By all accounts, it could be called a miserable evening, with electrical equipment under water. About five years ago, fellow Southern rock band 38 Special played under similar conditions and had to escape the stage as wind raised the roof off the trussing before it collapsed, crushing the equipment – an event Lynyrd Skynyrd manager Ross Schilling remembers well, he told Pollstar.

The Skynyrd audience was there and ready to rock, Yaros said, but they appeared to understand the cancellation because of the conditions. A few people were upset, which is par for the course for any event, he said.

Meanwhile, promoter Ted Creighton of Giant Productions has refunded about 75 percent of the gate receipts, he told Pollstar. There was a two-week refund window, with radio and Internet announcements. He told the Delmarva Now that he had no legal obligation to offer refunds at all because the tickets say “All sales are final.”

But some ticket holders were reportedly told to hold on to their stubs for a rescheduled show, so they did not have their feelers out during the two-week window and are now stuck with $45 tickets.

The band offered to return in October at half-price, but could not come to an agreement with Giant Productions, according to Schilling. The manager added that Giant Productions did not have rain insurance.

But the fans don’t care about what happens behind the scenes, he added, and the band, Comcast-Spectacor and minor league baseball’s Delmarva Shorebirds were donating refunds and extending the deadline to January 5th.

“When we heard about this, we were all shocked,” the band’s Johnny Van Zant said in a statement. “We have very loyal fans and are also loyal to them.”

– Joe Reinartz