CUYAHOGA FALLS, Ohio – Blossom Music Center will close its orchestral season with a program centered on Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “The Sound of Music” on Sept. 3 and 4. And while the forecast calls for good weather (at least for now), you never know when rain or thunderstorms will affect Northeast Ohio’s premier music venue.
That was the case on August 20, when several ticket holders heading to the Harry Potter Orchestra of Cleveland concert were turned back. According to an Orchestra representative, “the severe weather set in just as most of our guests started arriving for the evening around 6 p.m.”
The show was delayed as guests who had already arrived at Blossom and purchased lawn tickets were moved to the pavilion for shelter. Meanwhile, late-arriving guests were turned away at the venue’s parking lot entrance by Summit County Sheriff’s deputies and mistakenly told the show was canceled.
“We made this decision for safety, due to severe weather with the threat of lightning throughout the evening and the risk given the open and exposed areas of Blossom’s parking lots and grounds,” the Orchestra said in a statement, which directed those affected to request a ticket exchange or refund via [email protected]
“We were concerned about the risk of people out in the Blossom car parks and grounds, the threat of lightning throughout the evening and out of concern for everyone’s safety, we had to evacuate the lawn,” the statement continued. . “We allowed people into the pavilion who had been on the grounds when they opened at 4.30pm”
The official severe weather policy for Blossom Music Festival and Cleveland Orchestra concerts is “rain or shine, all events are performed. In the event of severe weather conditions, a coordinated campus-wide alert will direct you in shelters in a safe and orderly manner.
However, with some ticket buyers able to experience the Harry Potter program on August 20 and others not, the Orchestra said it is “reviewing our severe/threatening weather policies to ensure we do better”.
Weather is nothing new to Blossom Music Center. Live Nation, which handles bookings for non-classical music shows at the venue, also has a “rain or shine” concert policy that urges attendees to check the weather before purchasing lawn seats.
If severe weather becomes a problem, Live Nation allows fans to enter venue parking lots but not the grounds, issuing a shelter-in-place order on social media for guests to stay in their cars until the order is lifted.
For example, the threat of storms delayed Tears for Fears’ May 21 concert at Blossom Music Center. Live Nation sent a shelter-in-place order through its social media channels. Garbage’s opening set was delayed 45 minutes until fans were able to enter the venue and get to their seats.
While that show went on without a hitch, a concert at Blossom may be canceled. Such was the case last year when country star Thomas Rhett’s concert was postponed due to severe storms. The announcement of the postponement was made at 10:30 p.m., three hours after the start of the program.
Severe weather could also exacerbate Blossom’s known traffic problems and cause people to arrive late for shows. There’s not much the orchestra or Live Nation can do about it, except to encourage people to arrive at least two hours before the scheduled show time. There are only two ways in and out of the sprawling site – the main entrance off Steels Corners Road and the Valley Gate off Northampton Road. This creates obstacles even on days with perfect weather, and especially on popular shows.
Live Nation has a dozen concerts scheduled at Blossom Music Center before the end of the season. The Sound of Music program at the classical music season finale will feature the Akron Symphony Orchestra and members of the Baldwin Wallace University Conservatory of Music’s musical theater program.
Tickets for The Sound of Music are still available. According to the Weather Channel, the 10-day forecast (as of earlier this week) calls for temperatures in the 80s Saturday and Sunday with a very slight chance of rain.