The postponement of a country music concert later this month at East Carolina University has raised the ire of Blake Shelton fans.
The Carolina Kickoff show, originally planned Aug. 19 at ECU’s Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium, was rescheduled to April 21, when Shelton can’t play because of his commitment to “The Voice” TV show. Since the announcement was made last week, fans who already bought tickets stormed social media, complaining they were cheated from seeing the show’s headliner.
Shelton’s camp had suggested the university was responsible for the decision because of concerns about possible damage to the football field, where ECU’s Pirates play. The original date was two weeks before ECU’s home opener.
“I wanna be clear that the Greenville concert cancel had NOTHING to do w me/my camp,” Shelton tweeted. “I was ready to play! I love Greenville Ill be back ASAP!”
Never miss a local story.
Fans were upset, and some blamed ECU.
“Whatever is best for the University,” tweeted @BobbieGlass11. Another seemed to point the finger at the promoter: “The concert logistics were horrible last year and now this mess!!!” tweeted Ken Whitehurst. “I’d be willing to bet this concert never happens!”
On Sunday, ECU’s athletics department released a statement saying that reports on the show’s postponement had been “incomplete and sometimes erroneous.” The university said the decision to reschedule the event was made by the concert promoter, Basis Entertainment.
“ECU was contacted by Basis Entertainment requesting that the performance of the Carolina Kickoff be rescheduled, citing several reasons but voicing special concern about the timing of the show.
“Basis Entertainment believed that the event would be negatively affected by other events on the scheduled date. Concerns were raised, as well, by the prospect of increased costs associated with replacing turf damaged using a new field covering being applied by event management.”
The promoter has scheduled a free concert on Aug. 19 at ECU’s Minges Coliseum, but Shelton won’t be there. The lineup includes Big & Rich, Parmalee and Tucker Beathard.
“There were multiple factors that came into play when we made the decision to reschedule the concert to April,” Gary DeWaard, CEO of Basis Entertainment, said in a statement announcing the postponement. “There was much concern about the timing of the show in the market, as well as the potential damage that would come to the football field right before the football season begins, so we mutually decided it would be best to reschedule.”
The concert company said it would release a list of new artists for the rescheduled event in a few weeks. Tickets for the original show will be honored at the April concert. For more information, ticketholders can contact the company at firstname.lastname@example.org