Less than two weeks after it was announced, Whistler’s Sizzling September Concert Series has fizzled, and no one seems to know why.
But when it comes to organizing ticketed concerts in Whistler, third party event producers seem to have a “general problem with the business model,” a municipal staff member said.
And a five-year contract with Big Mountain Concert Company, the firm responsible for coordinating the KISS concert and two others, that was to have gone to Whistler council for approval Tuesday was withdrawn after the announcement of the concert cancellation earlier in the day.
Big Mountain was working in conjunction with the Resort Municipality of Whistler, Whistler Blackcomb and Tourism Whistler on the concert series that was announced on Aug. 22, just over three weeks before KISS was scheduled to perform at the Coca Cola tube park on Blackcomb.
But Tuesday morning, Big Mountain sent out a release stating that “due to logistical problems at the mountain concert site” the KISS concert had been cancelled.
Marnie Wilson, spokesperson for Big Mountain, said there were simply too many “logistical issues” to deal with in such a short time frame, forcing promoters to cancel the show.
But in an interview early last week, president of Big Mountain, Dennis MacDonald, expressed confidence in his company’s ability to pull off the upcoming concert series. He said they had been planning the event and working on booking KISS for over a year, but had only signed the act recently because of scheduling issues.
“They liked the idea of doing it on the mountain, and while we had been negotiating and talking and going back and forth for a long, long time, it finally just came together.”
When questioned last week over the tight timeline, MacDonald said planning and logistical details were taken care of.
“Everything else is lined up. The engineering drawings of the mountain are completed, the engineering drawings for the stage are completed, the stage is completed, the lighting and the sound is all done — it’s now just a matter of moving in.”
So what changed?
Big Mountain representatives wouldn’t elaborate on the “logistical issues with the mountain site” that led to the cancellation of the concert.
When questioned about Big Mountain’s press release that identified problems with the “mountain site,” Breton Murphy, spokesperson for Tourism Whistler, said they weren’t aware of any problems with the venue.
“To our knowledge, there were no issues with the physical site that were preventing the event from going forward,” Murphy said.