Storming Charlottesville

The Gary Allan, James Otto and Sons of Bill show May 8th at the Charlottesville Pavilion in Virginia was cut short toward the end of the concert after the area was hit with rain, lightning and thunder – the makings of a tornado.

According to local TV station WCAV, the National Weather Service issued a tornado warning for Albemarle County and Charlottesville at 8:35 p.m. and police were alerted by the Emergency Communication Center at 8:47 p.m.

Venue GM Kirby Hutto told Pollstar the Pavilion consulted with the ranking police officer on site and monitored the storm on radar.

"We were trying to rush the show to get it in because we could see the line of storms several hundred miles to the west, which were approaching us," Hutto said. "We wanted to try and get as much of the concert in before the storms really were upon us and so we shortened one of the opener’s sets. We had shortened the set breaks and we were doing everything we could to make sure our patrons got their money’s worth."

The concert began at 6:30 p.m. and after both opening acts played their sets, headliner Allan took to the stage. After the country singer played "a little bit over half of his set," he was called off the stage at 9:05 p.m.

Hutto said the venue "had hoped that there would just be a short interruption" until the show could continue.

"Normally … in central Virginia, you have a line of storms that pass over and then it’s clear behind. In this case what looked to be a quick line of storms on the radar ultimately expanded out and it became clear to us, while he was off stage, that the weather was not going to improve and was likely going to deteriorate."

Hutto said the concert was then cut short at 9:30 p.m. and the venue began its emergency plan to get the patrons out of the Pavilion and back to their vehicles.

No refunds were given.

Allan "put on a great show under very trying conditions and certainly I think that the fans who were there were enjoying it. We hope that in some point shortly we can accommodate and bring him back again for a full and uninterrupted show," Hutto said.

He added there were no tornadoes and nothing that touched down anywhere within 100 miles of the venue.

"It was simply some severe thunderstorms, which we get all the time."