The Challenges of Rescheduling Amid COVID-19

Posted on June 22, 2020

To Our Valued Patrons:

Friday marked the final ten days of our fiscal year-end call for support aimed at helping SKyPAC close the projected revenue gap by the end of June. Thank you to all those who have already contributed. If you would still like to give, we invite you to consider a tax-deductible charitable gift before our fiscal year ends on June 30, 2020. Click HERE to donate or mail to SKyPAC, PO Box 748, Bowling Green, KY 42102. Likewise, as I mentioned last week, another important way you can support SKyPAC during this critical time is by donating your tickets back to SKyPAC or transferring them to a gift card for future use rather than automatically requesting a refund. These ticket donations or gift cards will have a profound impact on our bottom line and we are happy to provide tax receipts for your donation.

Today I would like to have an honest conversation about the challenges we have faced as a result of the postponement and cancellations of dozens of performances amid this worldwide pandemic. Unlike many other states, the Commonwealth of Kentucky does not have laws regarding the rescheduling/refund process for non-profit and commercial venues or sport teams. Therefore, we adopted a policy which is common among performing arts centers.

Normally, it would not have taken long to reschedule a cancelled performance under regular circumstances. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 situation created massive upheaval in the live performing arts industry in that nearly every non-profit or commercial venue in the country was forced to cancel or reschedule events all at the same time. Most centers have been working hard to reschedule in the uncertainty of the crisis. Unfortunately, with thousands of venues trying to redo their calendars because of the loss of several months of booked events has created a lengthy backlog of rebooking and re-contracting events through agencies, producers and artists. First, the major markets across the country have been getting preferential treatment in selecting dates because they often have several performances of a national tour (TPAC, for instance, has full-week Broadway and will book first before markets like ours who book “one-nighters”).

The other problem we have been encountering is that events that we have been successful in rescheduling in the fall have been reconsidered by the artists and agents as too soon to reschedule. The fact is that we don’t know if there will be continued mitigation, social distancing and PPE restrictions if we were to try to present an event in late summer or the fall. If there would continue to be restrictions, it would be financially irresponsible for us to try and present an event.

In my 30+ year career, I have never experienced such a devastating blow to our industry. Many of our partner venues across the country will not recover from this and will be going insolvent and shuttering their stages. SKyPAC and the Capitol Arts Center have good support in this community, and with your help, I sincerely hope we will get through this together and be able to operate within the “new normal” – whatever that might be.

We understand everyone is struggling right now and appreciate the frustration many of you must feel with rescheduling delays that are simply beyond our control. Still, we must abide by the policy we have in place pertaining to the unusual and unforeseen circumstances caused by this pandemic. If you have questions or would like to review our ticketing policies, please feel free to visit this link: Ticket Policies.

Our aim is for everyone to have a positive SKyPAC experience and for each of you to return to both SKyPAC and the Capitol Arts Center when we are able to reopen. We sincerely apologize to everyone who has been dissatisfied over the past few months and hope this explanation provides insight as we ask for your continued understanding and patience. In return, we commit to do everything in our power to address these situations as we are able.

Thank you and please stay safe.

Thomas J. Carto
President & CEO
Southern Kentucky Performing Arts Center Foundation

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