Classical Guitar Concert Canceled in Oregon Due to Power Outage

August 11, 2017

By Erik Linask - Group Editorial Director

‘Tis the season for outdoor concerts.  Across the country, artists from all genres are entertaining fans who look forward to an open-air musical experience, much different from the closed environment in arenas and other enclosed venues.  It’s become such a popular attraction, in fact, that in Bridgeport, Connecticut, the city has opted to turn its minor league baseball stadium into a concert amphitheater at the Harbor Yard complex.

Of course, one of the challenges with outdoor events is weather, but it’s a risk most concert-goers are willing to take.  Most venues have sections of covered seating, which helps those willing to pay more, but even fans with lawn tickets often don’t mind sitting through sets by their favorite artists.

Britt Pavilion. Photo by Josh Morell.

Sometimes, though, Mother Nature has other plans.  In Jacksonville, Oregon, the Britt Arts and Music Festival was forced to cancel a performance by Mexican classical guitar duo Rodrigo y Gabriella due to a power outage.  Strong winds in the area, in fact, caused a widespread outage just before the act was set to take the stage.  The situation could result in a six-figure loss for the venue, because it not only is contractually responsible for paying the artists, despite them never having performed, but also various technical, security, and other venue staff who were working.

When questioned about the lack of generators backup power, the venue’s CEO Donna Briggs noted that, with the amount of power consumed during an event, generators simply are not a feasible option.

The situation, however, does serve as a reminder to all business to have contingency plans in place for power outages.  Specifically, businesses with sensitive digital equipment – basically, most technology, today – should be aware of the dangers of outages and associated surges.

Lack of power is a major issue, of course, and many businesses with lower power draws, such as concert venues like Britt, have backup generators in place to ensure operational continuity.  The lesser-understood impact, though, is the impact surges can have on the equipment itself, which can be instantly shorted, resulting in lost business and additional costs.  Even if damage isn’t apparent, surges can cause undetectable weakening of circuits inside equipment, causing them to degrade and eventually break, often causing longer disruptions and greater diagnostic and repair expense.

Protecting network equipment and other technology with purpose-built power protection systems can save both time and expense, not to mention frustration.  Such systems would not have kept Tuesday’s concert in Jacksonville from being canceled, but one can only hope it had appropriate protective measures in place for equipment that is, effectively, it’s lifeline.

The venue is asking for ticketholders to offer their purchase costs as donations, but has said it will refund anyone requesting it.


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