Furthur Show at Shelburne Museum Abruptly Canceled
**UPDATED SATURDAY, 9:15 PM**
The hippies are coming! The hippies are com … wait a sec. They're not?
According to their website, Grateful Dead redux Furthur have been forced to cancel their upcoming Concerts on the Green performance scheduled for 7/5 at stately — and now 99% hippie free — Shelburne Museum. Here's the announcement:
July 5th Shelburne Vermont Show CANCELLED
To All Of Our Fans Who’ve Purchased Tickets To Our July 5 Show in Shelburne, VT:
After days of meetings to address and alleviate last minute concerns being expressed by State and Local Authorities, Furthur is very disappointed to learn that today (6.24), the local authorities, citing an inability to deal with an expected influx of ticketless fans, traffic concerns, and other issues, have revoked the approved permits for the show and have decided to cancel Furthur's concert at Vermont's Shelburne Museum on July 5. As the decision was made by the local authorities so close to the event date, regrettably we are unable to find a suitable alternate venue in Vermont. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience!
Full & complete refunds will be available soon via point of purchase.
If you bought tickets online you'll automatically be refunded.
Anyone else sensing something fishy going on here?
[Ed. note: This item was cross-posted at Solid State.]
[UPDATE: Friday, 3:30 p.m.]
My goodness, what a long, strange trip this has … ahem.
According to the statement from Furthur, the culprits of our collective mellow harshing are the "local authorities." But here's the thing, the local authorities found out about it the same way we did.
"I came in early this morning, before seven, and our town planner had a copy of the notice that Furthur posted on their website," said Shelburne town manager Paul Bohne in a phone conversation with 7D earlier today. "That was the first I had heard of it."
But surely permitting the concerts must go through the town of Shelburne, right?
"We don't permit them," says Bohne, "We don't have a process for permitting concerts at the museum."
That responsibility actually falls on the state, specifically the Department of Public Safety. And according to an article posted earlier today by Burlington Free Press staff writer Sally Pollack, they didn't cancel the show either.
From the BFP story:
The Department of Public Safety issued a permit for the Furthur concert at Shelburne Museum, but it did not cancel or revoke the permit it issued, according to Major Walt Goodell of the department.
"We did not cancel it," Goodell said. "We would take an interest in any planning if we were invited to the table to discuss additional needs. But we've had no role in canceling the permit."
OK, so if Shelburne didn't do it, and the state didn't do it … who the in the name of Jerry pulled the plug?
Shelburne Museum public relations and marketing director Leslie Wright — who earlier today responded to a 7D inquiry with a firm, "No comment" — informs us that an official statement from the museum is forthcoming shortly.
And the plot thickens …
[UPDATE: Friday, 4:05 p.m.]
And here it is, the official statement from the Shelburne Museum:
SHELBURNE MUSEUM STATEMENT ON JULY 5 CONCERT CANCELLATION
June 25, 2010
We regret that the July 5 Furthur concert at Shelburne Museum had to be canceled. We could not host this show without an adequate security plan from the concert’s organizers in place. We did not have that and so made the difficult decision to withdraw as the concert’s venue.
[UPDATE: Saturday, 11:45 a.m.]
And the Higher Ground response:
FURTHUR JULY 5
at Ben & Jerry’s Concerts on the Green in Shelburne, VT
After several weeks of working with officials at Shelburne Museum, along with local & state police and town officials, to prepare security and parking plans, Higher Ground Presents/CEP was notified by Shelburne Museum via phone on Thursday, June 24 at approx 11am that the venue was withdrawing as the host of the July 5th Furthur concert, and planned to seek cancellation of the State Public Assembly Permit. Concerns involving increased strain on local infrastructure and resources, as well as fears about property damage to the Shelburne Museum and its neighbors, were cited as the main conditions of the revocation of the venue contract, and the Museum’s desire to seek cancellation of the permit. Higher Ground Presents/CEP was confident in its ability to host the popular concert in a peaceful and safe environment at Shelburne Museum – just as it’s done at the Ben & Jerry’s Concerts on the Green series for 7 years.
“We’re deeply disappointed at this turn of events,” said Alex Crothers of Higher Ground Presents/CEP. “We were ready, willing and more than able to host Furthur at Concerts on the Green at Shelburne Museum. For these concerns to materialize in the 11th hour and our solutions to be deemed ‘inadequate’ is short-sighted. In these tough economic times, this single concert would have been a boon to the local economy -- including over $17K in taxes, the 75 jobs it was creating, along with the influx of revenue to the local area hotels, gas stations, and restaurants.”
“When we lost our venue the show was effectively canceled as a result. Every attempt was made to find a suitable alternative venue, unfortunately none could be found at such late a date, “ Crothers said.
Higher Ground Presents/CEP regrets this course of action, as our goal is has always been to present quality musical events in a safe and respectful environment. We wish to apologize to our patrons for any inconvenience. Customers will be issued full refunds at point of purchase. Credit card purchases will be automatically credited back and cash refunds will be provided at the Higher Ground Box Office upon receipt of ticket.
[UPDATE: Saturday, 9:15 p.m.]
Well, this is interesting. Check out this transcript from Friday's noon WCAX newscast, which featured a clip from an interview with Shelburne Museum director Stephan Jost shortly after Furthur tickets went on sale in March. (Thanks to 7D political columnist Shay Totten.)
A Vermont concert featuring former Grateful Dead members has been cancelled. The Further Tour features former dead band-mates Phil Lesh and Bob Weir. They were scheduled to play a show at Shelburne Museum on July 5th -- but according to the band's web site that show has been cancelled due to concerns by local and state authorities. Authorities were apparently worried about a repeat of the 1995 Grateful Dead show in Highgate when thousands of fans showed up without tickets -- and many forced their way into the show. The Phish farewell show in Coventry six years ago also caused problems when hundreds of fan abandoned cars along the interstate. Shelburne Museum officials told us earlier this month they did not expect any major problems with the Furthur tour.
((30:23-:37 Question: Any concerns about this Furthur show? Stephan Jost: Not really. The reality is Furthur is extraordinarily popular. I've never heard of them but we sold out in six minutes, or I should say Higher Ground did. And that said, security will be extraordinarily tight.")) Furthur tour officials say they will provide full refunds for people who bought tickets -- and are looking for a replacement show -- outside of Vermont.
"And that said, security will be extraordinarily tight." So tight, apparently, that no one is getting in.
It would seem that museum officials didn't do their homework before greenlighting the Furthur show. ("I've never heard of them but we sold out in six minutes!") Or maybe SM just got cold feet after reading reports like this one from Soundspike.com, which details some rather unsavory shenanigans outside a Furthur festival show in northern California earlier this month.