WARREN, Ohio (WYTV) – In response to a directive from Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, the River Rock at the Amp Concert Series has been canceled for the entire 2020 summer season.
It comes after the coronavirus pandemic delayed the start of the summer concert series due to restrictions in Ohio — it had been rescheduled for this Friday.
The event’s organizer couldn’t see a way to reschedule the events.
“So we’re just going to call the rest of the season off because there’s just too much uncertainty, and chances are with these numbers spiking, I just don’t see it happening,” said Ken Haidaris, president of Sunrise Entertainment.
Haidaris says his company had already made plans to make the concerts as safe as possible.
“We can seat up to 5,000 people at The Amp, and we were only allowing 1,000 people. So we thought that allowed for plenty of space,” he said.
The classic rock concerts featuring popular cover bands have taken place for years at the Warren Community Amphitheatre.
Haidaris is disappointed for the community who looks forward to the concerts each summer.
“It really adds a certain excitement and brings people downtown. They stay at hotels, they go out to eat, they go to bars. So it’s very quiet without these events, it really is,” he said.
He believes concertgoers would have taken the safety precautions seriously.
“I think people want to be out and I think they want to be respectful. I can’t speak just for bars because I know it’s a little different, but I think people get it and I think they want to be safe,” he said.
Haidaris is worried that businesses may not recover if they stay closed for too long.
“You can’t close the economy down forever. If people are careful, if we wear masks or if you’re careful where you go, I think we can open this up,” he said.
In a post on Facebook, Sunrise Entertainment thanked the community for its continued support and said they plan on being back and “better than ever” next year.