17 Nov How do you say thank you to a town?
Early last year we were approached by a new client who wanted to host a concert in his wife’s hometown. He wanted to thank all the people who took care of his wife in her battle against cancer, from emergency responders to the staff at the hospital. Tragically she lost her fight to cancer, but her memory will be carried on by a foundation established in her name. He wanted to recreate a “Woodstock” type of event at the local fairgrounds by building a stage and bringing back some vintage rock n’ roll acts. When we looked at the fairgrounds it was very clear that everything needed to be brought in, from staging to port-a-potties. After much deliberation we came up with a line-up featuring the Former Members of ELO to open the show, followed by the legendary Dave Mason and closing with the incomparable John Fogerty. Now that we had a venue and the performers, we needed to make it happen. The Fairgrounds would be open to the guests at 11AM on Sunday morning and we were told it never rained that time of year.
The trucks rolled in early Friday morning and, as promised, the day was beautiful. We started constructing the stage, sound, lighting, band gear set-ups (for 3 different bands) and trailers for dressing rooms. Everything was going smoothly until approximately 1PM on Saturday when it started to rain. Wait a minute. I thought it never rained this time of year. It started and did not stop until 11AM on Sunday. Even with a covered stage we needed boxes of towels and multiple tarps to keep the rain off the gear.We covered everything and muddled through. ELO members flew in Saturday and came straight over for sound check. John Fogerty’s truck almost got stuck in the mud and we downloaded his gear to a smaller truck to get to the stage. Dave Mason’s band showed up early Sunday Morning for their sound check and everyone patiently dealt with the bad weather. The townspeople arrived and took their seats to watch and just then the sun broke through the clouds. The bands took their places and the show went on to the delight of the audience. Following 3 hours of great music with an incredible closing set by the ageless John Fogerty, the townspeople were the ones who were thankful.