A Letter to Angry Fans Concerning the Weather

First, thank you to the many fans who did not lash out at us on these difficult days. We appreciate it.

To the rest of you, we hope you’ll think twice about the hatred and viciousness that you’ve sent our way. Frankly, it makes us sad. You have called us greedy, dangerous and have even threatened our staff.  And over what? A concert.

The weather creates unfortunate circumstances for all involved.

We’re moving forward with tonight’s Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings show, and we understand that some will not make it. Most will. The roads in Durham are generally clear and are largely passable.  Sharon Jones is here, ready to play and we are contractually obligated to pay her for her performance, and both of us have made significant investments in the show long before the artist goes on stage.

We do not like these situations any more than you, and we do not make these decisions lightly. Rescheduling is rarely an option - a concert tour is a complicated endeavor with many moving pieces and costs.  It’s not as simple as finding an empty date.

All venues have a clear, no nonsense “no refunds or changes” policy. It’s not because we’re mean and enjoy upsetting customers. If the artists arrive, the show goes on, 99% of the time, and we’re obligated to pay them. In many cases, 85% or more of the money you paid for your ticket is going to the artist.

When you post hateful comments, threaten our staff, and promise to boycott us, remember that at all levels of the equation, you’re dealing with people on the other end.

All of the people here are full-time or part-time employees of a non-profit that works hard to bring the best arts and entertainment to Durham every day. We’ll have to figure out how to make up for the thousands of dollars we lost by making the decision to cancel Pat Metheny last night, when the roads were truly impassable in many places. Sharon Jones is an incredibly talented artist, who while on tour is paying for musicians, equipment, buses, hotel rooms, and more.

We’re sorry that you’re frustrated, and angry, and feel helpless. We understand you’re disappointed to miss the show. It may feel as though you’re attacking greedy corporate entities with your phone calls, e-mails, Facebook posts, Tweets, and website comments.

 

What you’re really doing is attacking people who are in a tough spot and doing the best they can under extremely difficult circumstances, which none of us are to blame for.

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