SIMPSONVILLE, S.C. —
Storms Tuesday night led to a decision to postpone a Simpsonville concert, but the way it was postponed caused backlash.
Hundreds of people drove from hours away to see the Swedish rock band Ghost live. Now, those hundreds of fans could be out thousands of dollars.
Concertgoers were evacuated a few minutes into the opening band's set after lighting was spotted nearby. Joshua Chorman said after that, communication was touch and go.
"Eight o'clock, we were told it had been canceled. And then at 8:45, they finally posted on social media, and they were saying that the event was on hold, that it would likely open back up, they're keeping an eye on it," Chorman said, "9:45 they say they're setting back up."
Chorman said he and hundreds of other fans drove back to CCNB Amphitheatre and waited outside hours for another update.
At "11:45, they post on social media that they're sorry, but the show's been canceled. At 11:45, like we'd been waiting literally in line all day. The communication was terrible," he said.
The venue posted the band's equipment had been damaged in the rain. At CCNB Amphitheatre, city of Simpsonville spokesperson Justin Campbell says artists are responsible to keeping their own equipment protected and dry.
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"We can't make the band or the tour go onstage," Campbell said. "They reported that there was some damaged equipment for lighting or sound. And because of that, they chose not to continue the concert."
The concert has been rescheduled for Thursday.
"We have things to do," Troy Baker said, with his daughter dressed head to toe in Ghost gear. "She was going to start a brand-new job tomorrow. I had to take two days off of work, and now, if we come back, it's two more days."
The city of Simpsonville owns the CCNB Amphitheater, and Campbell says he and his family were at the concert.
"On behalf of the city, we understand people's frustration, waiting on getting information, not knowing when you're going to back in or if the concert's going to continue," he said.
But when it comes to communication, Campbell says the venue's hands were tied because of their agreement with Live Nation.
"But our people, TRZ management, were being told when they could make updates. And if they give out updates when they're not supposed to, that's a liability," Campbell said.
In the end, Campbell said Ghost decided to cancel and reschedule for Thursday because Hurricane Idalia had already canceled their Florida show that day.
Campbell went on to say the city and venue did get permission to push Simpsonville's quiet hours back to midnight in case the show went on after the evacuation.
Several concertgoers told our WYFF News 4 crew they couldn't get a refund from Ticketmaster. Campbell said if Ticketmaster doesn't come through, to email the city at [email protected].
We reached out to Ghost, Live Nation, and Ticketmaster for comment. We had not heard back by the time this article was published.