Minnesota Orchestra pulls plug on last concert

The sour economy has claimed another victim: the end-of-the-season Minnesota Orchestra concert at the Lake Harriet Band Shell on Sunday September 14.

Quoting the news release:

“In the current difficult economic climate, we are very sorry to report that we will not be able to perform the Orchestra’s upcoming September performance at the Lake Harriet Band Shell,” says Minnesota Orchestra President and CEO Michael Henson. “We apologize for any inconvenience this causes for audiences. This is a venue where our Orchestra loves to perform, and we hope to be able to return to this beautiful setting in future seasons.”

How much does it cost to put on one concert? Good question. Why not just pass the hat during the concert?

“It’s not a figure we’re comfortable giving out,” said Orchestra spokesperson Gwen Pappas in a voicemail message. She says the Orchestra is at the beginning of its fiscal year and it’s presented a balanced budget plan to its board and they’re being “fiscally prudent in what everyone agrees it what will be a difficult economic year.”

The last concert will be a Sept. 11 memorial.

The Orchestra has performed an annual concert at Lake Harriet since September 2003.

  • Great Question, Bob. I know they try to sell T-shirts and CDs there, but I went with friends a couple weeks ago, and we would have happily chipped in $5/person or so. Heck, they could charge admission, and I wouldn’t mind paying. It was a delightful night out.

  • Amanda

    Not sure why they wouldn’t pass the hat as the crowds are always overwhelming. Old-fashioned Lutheran guilt/peer pressure would take over and they’d make a HAUL.

  • Our family has gone to this concert the last couple times. If you haven’t seen it, take my word that it’s an impressive setup. The sound setup with microphones for the whole orchestra, and speakers is massive, and really needed for the size of the audience they receive. It’s too bad it can’t be continued, but it is not a cheap operation, and they, like everyone else, is trying to get through on this economy.

    Passing the hat? Well it quite clearly stated in Chapter 2, of the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board of Ordinances, PB2-15 –

    – In any park or parkway, or upon any waters under control of the board, no person or entity, other than the board, shall sell, rent, or offer to sell or rent, any goods, services, or organizational memberships of any nature whatsoever, nor shall any person or entity solicit for donations, without a permit.

  • Vancer

    Relative to the board issuing a permit to the Orchestra to solicit donations for an outdoor concert at Lake Harriet, what is the big deal. It’s five minutes of business at a board meeting. That excuse for the 9/14 concert cancelation is lame.

    However, $5 in a hat doesn’t cut it either. Double or triple that per head and then it might be meaningful to covering the overhead.

    The Orchestral Board could have figured out a way to charge. They are bright people

  • Bob Collins

    So the Minneapolis Park officials will sell out the Stone Arch Bridge to Red Bull but wouldn’t allow the Mn Orchestra to pass the hat or otherwise figure out a way to get a few bucks? Ish.

    Good grief, this is a city that’s paying for $50,000 water bubblers!

  • B2

    The city ordinance states “without a permit”. I am sure the orchestra board could have managed to get one. Cutting one big transportation-heavy item from the schedule was a quick neat way to thin the budget.

    Water Bubblers? I grew up calling them that, my parents were from Chicago. When I moved here the kids didn’t know what I was talking about. I called “pop” “soda” too.

  • Bob Collins

    //I called “pop” “soda” too.

    As God intended, I might add. (g)