Official WYRK Statement on Taste of Country 2012 Suspension Before Eric Church’s Set
To our valued listeners and fans:
First of all, thank you so much for coming out to Coca-Cola Field last night, braving severe and extreme weather conditions to support Taste of Country, WYRK, and the artists who played the show. You guys are the best, and we feel privileged to serve you and this community.
We were as frustrated as you that we were forced to suspend last night’s show prior to Eric Church’s set, but we hope you understand that public safety was and should be the number one concern. To that end, we wanted to provide you with some specific details so that you understand the set of facts we encountered last night.
All evening, we were closely monitoring wind speeds, rainfall, and the threat of lightning at the stage location in consultation with venue staff, our production team and representatives of all of the performers. Toward the end of Joe Nichols’ set, we began to observe heavier sustained wind around the stage location. During the set change between Joe and Eric Church, between 10 p.m. and 10:45 p.m., we received reports indicating that we were experiencing wind speeds averaging 25 mph, with gusts up to 45 to 50 mph to be expected. We received this information directly from the National Weather Service, who advised us to treat the situation with caution.
Although we were confident in our stage construction, as some of you may be aware, a gust of approximately 60 mph brought down a stage in Indiana last summer. We twice manually lowered the stage in an effort to stabilize the structure so the show could go on. These actions did not, however, have the desired effect to reduce the risk to the performers or to the audience and, in fact, several key cords supporting the structure began to loosen or snap due to the high winds.
After careful consideration, and in light of what we saw as a significant safety threat to our audience, we moved as fast as we practically could to assess the risks of the situation — the result of which was that show producers, representatives of Eric Church, and the venue jointly made the decision to suspend the show just before 11 p.m.
We wanted to make sure you knew that this decision, although painful, was made with public safety firmly in mind. We hope that those of you who joined us did enjoy Casey James, Dustin Lynch, the Eli Young Band and Joe Nichols. Rest assured that not only were we excited to see Eric rock the Taste of Country stage, Eric himself was very keen to demonstrate to Buffalo why he is the hottest live entertainer in country music today. Please do stay tuned to WYRK and WYRK.com for further information and keep your ticket stubs or purchase receipts. We will be in touch as soon as we have more information.