Hurricane Florence Shuts Down Concerts In Southeast U.S.

Hurricane Florence
(NASA via AP)

Hurricane Florence from the International Space Station on Monday, Sept. 10, 2018, as it threatens the U.S. East Coast which has called for the evacuation of one million inhabitants.

As Hurricane Florence bears down on the southeast coast, it’s wreaking havoc with local promoters and amphitheater concerts in particular, as the Category 4 storm heads for the Charlotte, N.C., area.

J. Cole’s Dreamville Festival, scheduled to start on Thursday at Dix Park in his hometown of Raleigh, NC, has already been canceled “due to safety concerns,” according to organizers. Big Sean, SZA, Young Thug and Nelly were among those scheduled to perform.

Meanwhile, country music legend Alan Jackson called off his concert at the Spectrum Center in Charlotte, “in consideration of fans’ safety and that of the touring crew and venue staff,” while Jason Aldean called off his Thursday show at Cincinnati’s Riverbend Music Center due to heavy rainfall in the Midwest due to the hurricane.

Comedian Steven Wright, with a performance scheduled for Saturday at the McGlohon Theater in Charlotte, as well as the two-day Soul Junction Music Festival, slated for the city’s historic West End this weekend, were also postponed, with new dates yet to be announced.

Local reports indicate the Live Nation-promoted Zac Brown Band show, scheduled for Thursday night at Charlotte’s PNC Music Pavilion is still on as of this afternoon though promoters will be “watching the weather.”

Live Nation also has a “$U: A Symphonic Celebration of Prince” show booked for tomorrow night at Charlotte Metro Credit Union Amphitheatre at the AvidXChange Music Factory, but it has postponed the show at the Red Hat Amphitheatre in Raleigh for Thursday.

A Five Seconds of Summer show at Charlotte Metro Credit Union Amphitheatre scheduled for Sunday night is still on, as is a Five for Fighting concert at McGlohon in Charlotte on Saturday night.

Comic Bill Burrs postponed a performance at Chrysler Hall in Norfolk, VA, from Friday to the following Friday (September 21).

Both major promoters, Live Nation and AEG, should be carrying “event cancelation” insurance, according to Paul Bassman, a former manager of bands like Drowning Pool and Flickerstick, who left the music business to found the Texas-based Ascend Insurance Brokerage, which has provided similar policies for major festivals like Pitchfork, Kaaboo, Bottlerock and Life Is Beautiful, among others.

 “This indemnifies the promoters for any money lost through adverse weather that makes it unsafe to hold the event,” he explains, of the policy with a premium between “1 and 1.25%” of the overall budget to put the event on, including refunds to ticketholders and a reimbursement of out-of-pocket expenses.  Or there’s a cheaper policy just to insure the expenses being incurred for a postponed or canceled event.

A Live Nation spokesperson commented that the company is dealing with the shows “on a case-by-case basis,” adding, “Most of the time , the individual bands will issue reports of cancellations.”