Festival Drops Shed Complaint

Organizers of an annual jazz festival in Michigan City, Ind., that balked over renovations to an amphitheatre at a city park have decided to take a wait-and-see approach to future concerts at the shed.

The city’s Washington Park has been undergoing a $460,000 renovation, but when officials for Smooth Jazz at South Shore finally saw the upgrades, they weren’t pleased, the News Dispatch reported, and called for the project to be completely scrapped and redesigned.

A major point of contention was apparently a new winding ramp that snakes through the shed’s lawn seats, which Smooth Jazz officials told the Dispatch could result in a big loss of seating space and $25,000 in sales.

“It takes up a lot of space,” Smooth Jazz president Tony Sindone said. “And the grading that had to be done on the land around it is no longer conducive to many of the members of our audience to put down lawn chairs.”

Smooth Jazz changed its tune less than one week later.

“I don’t want to spend tens of thousands of dollars or have anything to do with acting as a catalyst for spending tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars because of poor design,” Sindone said. “We are going to reassess after this concert as to whether we can put our energies … into a show like this for next year and years after.”

Washington Park’s renovation is expected to be completed June 1.