Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Lucky 1,800 see Mraz unplugged

Concertgoers who attended the Jason Mraz show at the Uptown Amphitheatre are still drying out this morning after being caught in the epic thunderstorms that rumbled through Charlotte last night.

(Bet Live Nation is wishing they built a roof over the stage now.)

An early afternoon rain shower and an odd no-blanket rule at the amphitheater tipped off some to the crazy night that was about to ensue.

Instead of a laid back summer concert under the stars, fans were running for shelter to their cars and under tents and concessions stands as the skies opened up around 7:30, cutting opener K'naan's set short.

The mood was light though -- fans huddled together and sang some of Mraz's songs to keep spirits up, according to concertgoers.

Around 8:30, crews started packing up equipment from the stage and curious fans wondered what was going on.

People using Twitter exchanged rapid fire messages throughout the night about what to do -- and the lucky ones following @Jason_Mraz and @ncmusicfactory got the scoop first.

Mraz tweeted: "Acoustic set will happen inside. Our full stage set-up got soaked. Is inoperable for now. I don't think everyone will fit in though."

Genevieve Jooste, who follows the N.C. Music Factory on Twitter, heard directly from the complex via the social networking site saying the concert was moving inside to the smaller venue, The Fillmore. She was last in line to get in when the rain came pouring down again, causing everyone to run for the door.

Jooste, who originally held lawn tickets, says the two-hour acoustic set Mraz played was well worth the long night spent in soaked clothes.

"I have to give (Live Nation and the Music Factory) huge props because they put the stage together so quickly," she said this morning. "It was unbelievable. We were five feet from the stage. It was one of the best concerts I've been to."

Others were not so lucky. Only 1,800 people were allowed into the Fillmore and 5,000 originally had tickets.

One concertgoer e-mailed this morning, "So the person on the lawn that paid $15 for his or her seat got a front-row seat to see Jason Mraz while the person that had center stage three rows back went home because he can't run as fast. (A refund) doesn't make up for (Live Nation's) poor judgment and terrible decision to move a sold-out show of 5,000 people into a venue that holds 2,000 with no thought or planning."

Live Nation announced this morning that Mraz will return to Charlotte on Sept. 10 due to last night's storms. For those unable to attend the rescheduled show, refunds will be offered. See details here.

I have a few questions in to the local Live Nation spokeswoman about the decision. I'll update when I hear back from her.


Anonymous said...

To the complainer in the article, sounds like the venue was accomodating as they could possibly be, and you still get to see the show as rescheduled.
Boo whoooo.

Anonymous said...

Only the people with tickets for seats were allowed to get into the Fillmore, so the quote about who could run the fastest doesn't really hold up. Besides, it took a while for them to set up the Fillmore, so a second huge thunderstorm significantly thined out the ranks of those waiting to get in before the doors even opened.

I, and many people I have spoken with, are amazed and grateful to LiveNation, Jason Mraz (and the other performers) and the guys at ARK (owner of the NC Music Factory) for turning a very difficult situation into something positive (and it was a great show). Its not like they wanted the rain to come and I'm sure a LOT of money was lost last night. My hats go off to them all for doing what they could.

LiveNation and ARK are great citizens in Charlotte and have brought two amazing new entertainment venues to Charlotte at a time when everyone needs a little entertainment. They deserve a lot of respect.

Anonymous said...

Any idea who'll accompany Jason in Sept? I really wanted to see Bushwalla and G. Love.

Anonymous said...

sorry folks, this is the risk you take going to outdoor shows.....there are lots of indoor venues to choose from

Anonymous said...

I think Live Nation and NC Music Factory deserve props here. They scrambled to put in a show inside, will refund the people who didn't make it in and will honor the same tickets at the rescheduled concert. What else could you ask for?

I was one of the first to bolt out of there and didn't stay to wait it out. I am excited to see him Sept 10th!

BTW - the new amphitheater is sweet. Two thumbs up!!

Anonymous said...

In response to: "Only the people with tickets for seats were allowed to get into the Fillmore, so the quote about who could run the fastest doesn't really hold up."
This is not the case; anyone with a ticket was allowed in, first come first serve. It started to pour as soon as they began to let people into the Fillmore and they just took tickets.

Alice Hancock said...

Outdoor events have their own risk, it usually says it on the tickets. For a bad situation, this was pulled off well. Though I would have given preference to those without lawn tickets. Some of those seats were pretty pricey. Yet, very new venue and awesome job in general

Anonymous said...

I had lawn seats and was let into the Fillmore. They collected tickets as we entered but did not check them or scan them, just threw them in a bucket that I'm sure was filled with rain. I was toward the end of the line and made it in, soaking wet, but the place was not full by any means and it was definitely worth the wait in the rain! Since our tickets were soaked and not scanned, can't you just reprint them and attend the Sept. 10th show?

Anonymous said...

I really hope this venue works. It would really be a plus for Charlotte. I hope the clubs and restaurants that are planned open soon. I also believe the folks did the best they could in a bad situation concerning the Jason Mraz concert. Hope to see many more concerts there.

Anonymous said...

I was in the crowd waiting to get into the ampitheater, then followed people over to the Fillmore and waited for what seemed like an eternity to hear official concert status- we did not have any internet access, nor did anyone around us, so it was just a big guessing game as to what was going to happen. Finally, someone shouted over the noise of the crowd that there were 3 choices: 1)go in now to see a accoustic concert, 2)see Mraz at a later date outside, current tix being honored or 3) get a refund. I think a lot of fans left b/c they made it sound like there would NOT be a Jason Mraz concert happening. It was totally confusing, and we had to make a split decision about what to do w/ our time and money (we had nice reserved seats) but I absolutely had the best time inside, I would have paid double! Jason and band were so fun and totally entertaining- it was easily the best show I've seen to date!

Ellen said...

To: "Only the people with tickets for seats were allowed to get into the Fillmore, so the quote about who could run the fastest doesn't really hold up."

That's not true. I had lawn seats, but I got in--just a few feet from the stage. I stood for 6 straight hours, got poured on, and was shoved into mobs, but Jason Mraz was so worth it.

Anonymous said...

If I'd have paid all the LiveNation fees I'd have been really upset. I'm staying away from this place until their fees are more reasonable or non-existant (and not just on Wednesdays).

Anonymous said...

We were pretty close to the front of the Fillmore as we ran with the crowd and waited to get in. Then a security guard told (lied to) us and said that only people with reserved seats were going to be let in. Anyone with lawn seats had to go. At that point and at the height of our frustration, we made our way to the car. Only to find out that anyone could come long as they had made it to the door quick enough. With that being said, we probably would've been able to see the show. Oh well. I too think that it was very poorly organized with very little communication. Look at the forecast and have a PLAN far in advance for that kind of weather...AND let us know what's going on! I am thankful that he's coming back and that we will be able to see him.

Anonymous said...

The venue stood to lose a lot more money if they had to refund the expensive tickets over lawn seats, so it makes sense that maybe at one point that was the plan. Either way, communication was lacking. Was I the only one who went into the show not sure if Mraz would be playing?

Anonymous said...

i was slightly worried he wouldn't play-especially when G. Love played for an hour, but when he came on, i was so relieved.

Anonymous said...

I was there. It looked like a great venue, but there was no organization. When the show was canceled, no one could tell you what was going on. Who thinks to go on twitter in the middle of a storm, while waiting outside to find out what one guy on a pa system could tell you. It was a mess. There was little to no planning and now exit strategy for the parking lot. It took almost an hour just to get out of the lot. Oh...and that was from the VIP parking.

I am sure it was a great show and really wish I would have stayed. The problem was I didn't know to stay because no one told us. I hope this place works out because it looks like a 1st class venue. I just hope there is better planning next time and maybe a little cut to the fees. $ a 35 ticket quickly became a $50 once everyone got their cut.

PappyCaligula said...

I'm not trying to be "cheap" but tickets at the Filmore are too damn expensive (with fees) to begin with. THEN to find out how poorly organized they were?. I wonder how much of the ticket price (probably atleast 25 per cent) is going to Live Nation's corporate "suits" as overhead. YET, those big wigs have nary a clue OR care about whether you the paying fan, flip, flop, OR fly?.

I'm not expecting "free" BUT 55 bux on a Tuesday for ANYONE in a club is too expensive in my book. (Even if it IS BB King, WHICH I was going to attend tonight..The Filmore is OUT-OF-TOUCH with this economy) 110 BUX just for me and a date to get in, plus atleast 40 for extras (drinks, etc.)..I wonder how much the guarantee is for the talent performing?. Betcha' less than half.

Damn, I HATE corporate entertainment cartels!