Cindy Miller was certainly shaken by the official announcement that Willie Nelson would have to cancel his scheduled performance in Charlotte, citing a scheduling conflict, for a second straight year. However, the initial shock did not last long as the Eaton Area Senior Center director and her team quickly shifted focus to plan B — booking another artist.
Miller said she is focused on finding another country music act to take the Aug. 22 date in an effort to satisfy current ticket holders.
“We are working out the details for refunds with the Charlotte Performing Arts Center, which is handling all ticket sales,” Miller said. “We ask people try to bare with us as we would like to have a plan in place as quickly as possible.”
The CPAC box office is currently closed for the summer, though a message to ticket holders that details for the refund process will be coming soon was posted on the CPAC Facebook page. Miller said ticket holders may seek a refund or exchange their tickets for a different artist if one can be booked in the next week or two.
Miller said she is holding the Aug. 22 date to try to minimize the financial impact for local organizations planning to use the Willie Nelson concert as a fundraiser. The concert was organized as a fundraising effort for the center, which has seen revenues dwindle the past few years.
The cancellation means the Eaton Area Senior Center could face a financial loss of $25,000, which Miller said has already been spent on promotion of the concert.
“The Senior Center has lost money no matter what,” Miller said. “That’s not event counting staff time.”
The idea to hold a large concert each summer came out of the necessity to raise funds for the center, which saw it’s rental income drop by $19,000 last year, Miller said.
“We’ve trimmed all of the fat from our budget,” Miller said. “A concert seemed like the perfect answer because no other organization was doing it, so we wouldn’t be stepping on anyone’s toes. It also provides the opportunities for other organizations to take part and raise money as well. We don’t want to be defeated just because one artist cancelled on us twice.”
Miller said she and her marketing team have been researching potential artists to replace Nelson and have a couple possibilities in mind. Details regarding a new artist as well as the process for obtaining a refund or exchange will be made public as soon as they are available.