Crowd annoyed at concert switch
Standing room only at the Mesa Theater was a drag for some of the hundreds of people who bought tickets to the Bruce Hornsby and The Noisemakers concert on Tuesday night.
The concert had been planned for the outdoor amphitheater at the James M. Robb Colorado River State Park in Fruita but was moved inside after organizers became spooked by gusty winds and valley-wide lightning on Monday night.
Although a Tuesday night forecast initially called for heavy rains in some areas of the valley, the stormy weather did not materialize.
“The park got nailed bad with rain and wind and thunder,” Karen Jefferson with the Colorado Riverfront Commission said about Monday night. “These storms are unpredictable. (Workers) were out there setting up and they were tying things to vehicles so they would not blow away. They were worried about the safety of the performers.”
The Colorado Riverfront Commission offers the free summer concert series at the outdoor amphitheater. But to raise money to continue the tradition, the nonprofit group decided to charge $45 a ticket to the Hornsby show.
Jefferson said after it appeared early Tuesday that bad weather was forecast for that night, the group had to make a decision early in the day to change the venue because performers needed the whole day to set up.
They couldn’t wait to see how the weather would pan out before making a decision, she said.
The packed, steamy quarters of the Mesa Theater, 538 Main Street, wasn’t a welcome switch for many concert-goers who had planned to take in the show lounging barefoot in the grass overlooking the Colorado River.
Many of the people attending the show were middle-aged and some complained about having to stand for hours.
One couple who had waited inside for a bit left before the show began.
“Just say it sucks,” the man said before turning to go.
Another woman who arrived at the theater was told about the situation and said, “I’m way too old to stand up until 11 p.m.”
Chris Krabacher waited outside before the concert because, at 8 p.m., it felt cooler outside at 85 degrees than it felt inside.
“This is a pretty hokey place for a substitute,” he said, while more concert-goers streamed inside. “I find it kind of sissy that musicians are afraid of the weather. You can’t bring your picnic lunch in.”
Barry Tuohig also waited outside before the show, hesitant to elbow others for space.
He planned to go inside and watch Hornsby play one song and then leave. He considered writing off the expense on his taxes because he did not receive any benefit from the donation.
He didn’t begrudge the Riverfront Commission, however, and said he was happy to make the donation.
“The program is so worth supporting,” he said. “It’s great to see the support that came out.”