Show Me Center cites conflicting dates, contract problems for Willie Nelson cancellation

Friday, February 4, 2011
Willie Nelson in a 2005 concert at the Show Me Center. (Fred Lynch)

Conflicting performance dates, not a lack of interest, resulted in the cancellation of the March 15 Willie Nelson concert at the Show Me Center, a venue representative said Thursday.

Arena management announced the event's cancellation Thursday, almost a week after the Show Me Center postponed regular ticket sales due to "contractual issues."

"We had a great deal of interest in the show," said Shannon Buford, Show Me Center marketing director. "We are looking forward to having Willie come here in the near future; we just need to make sure that we can get him back as soon as possible."

Nelson performed with his band The Family at the Show Me Center on Oct. 23, 2005.

Nelson's website says the singer is set to perform in Davenport, Iowa, on March 13 and in Rockford, Ill., on March 16 but doesn't list a show for March 15.

"It comes down to who put in the contract first. ... It's just a territorial performance schedule," Buford said.

About 250 tickets were bought during a presale event Jan. 27 and 28, but the ticket office was prepared to sell many more when they were supposed to go on sale Jan. 29.

"It wasn't a great deal of tickets overall," Buford said. "This is certainly a very, very manageable refund process for us."

Ticketholders are asked to get refunds from the place where they bought their tickets. Refunds will be available starting at 10 a.m. Monday. Credit card purchases will be credited back to the account and cash or check purchases will be refunded with cash. Purchases made through Ticketmaster will be automatically refunded, but convenience fees are not refundable. The venue ticket office will also issue refunds by mail.

Buford said he was hoping to resolve the issue for the sake of Nelson's fans.

"It's just completely out of our hands," he said.

March 15 remains an open date at the Show Me Center, but Buford said they're preparing to announce new shows soon.

ehevern@semissourian.com

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