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Country blunder

Mega-concert Country Thunder USA backs out
Any rolling thunder to be heard in connection with the mega-concert Country Thunder USA (CTUSA), scheduled to take place near Ennis for the second year, will be that of unhappy audience hopefuls, sponsors, potential employees and media outlets.
Citing low advance ticket sales, organizers of the event announced yesterday the cancellation the four-day extravaganza set to begin next Thursday, startling ticket-holders and other supporters of the first Texas affiliate of the entertainment company specializing in showcasing major country music acts.
Country Thunder representatives said they pulled the plug on the 2008 show in Texas due to “a depressed economy, low ticket sales, and the financial outcome of last year’s event after catastrophic rainfall and the cancellation of 70 percent of the artists.”
In a prepared statement, CTUSA General Manager Glenn Starnes, said “the company thought they could pull off a recovery from last year’s disastrous weather cancellations, and with all the extenuating circumstances, it just didn’t happen. More answers will be available in the coming days.”
The sudden disclosure has local fans and media upset.
“It is very disappointing for us to have promoted this event only to have it cancelled,” KBEC Radio Sales Manager Barry Wolverton said.
“A lot of radio time was built around the concert and giving away tickets, and to have them come in at the last minute to cancel the whole thing is unimaginable.”
KBEC General Manager Ken Roberts agreed.
“We are in shock I guess is the best way to describe it,” Roberts said.
“I feel bad because of the attention Ellis County received by hosting a concert of this magnitude, and now the loss of that since I can’t see them trying another concert here after this. We hadn’t jumped in whole-heartedly like we did last year, and the excitement of the event wasn’t as high as last year, so for us the loss isn’t that significant, but to people with tickets it definitely is.”
A job fair for new hires to man the concert was held recently, but there will be no need for them now.
The all-star lineup was to have included Carrie Underwood, Tim McGraw, Pat Green and Joe Nichols among many other artists.
Last year, inclement weather prevented a full roster of performances, although headliner Reba McEntire briefly made it to the stage.
The problems in 2007 seemed to be over, Roberts said.
“Every time we have talked with concert officials they seemed like they wanted to make things right with everyone who got rained out of last year’s concert,” Roberts said.
“It is unbelievable that they have just pulled up stakes and are canceling the whole thing.”
To add to local displeasure concerning the cancellation, the company’s website as of this morning still features no formal announcement of the local event’s closure.
For more details call the event’s customer service center at 262-279-6860 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

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Posted by on May 22 2008. Filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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