It’s been one month since a flood waterlogged most of Southern-Alberta and while many communities have finally re-opened, it’s going to be a long time before things are back to normal.
One thing that was thankfully back to normal was the Calgary Stampede, which ran on schedule and over ten days, welcomed more than a million people to the grounds. However, not all was right on the grounds. One of the biggest differences at this year’s Stampede was that the Saddledome was closed due to damage from the flood, so all of the big Stampede concerts were canceled. At the time, most people seemed okay with the decision, especially considering that just a few days before the announcement, most of us didn’t think that the Stampede was going to happen at all. While some fans of Kiss, The Dixie Chicks, Carly Rae Jepsen, Tim McGraw and Bruno Mars, had hoped that the concerts would be moved to a different venue, the logistics of moving an indoor concert to an outdoor stage, is essentially impossible.
The concerts will all be rescheduled, so people will be able to hold on to their tickets and eventually see the shows that everyone has been excited to see. Other bands like Rush and Selena Gomez have moved their shows to Red Deer and Lethbridge respectively, with Rush donating all the proceeds of their concert to Alberta flood relief.
But here’s where I have to get a little controversial, not like cover of the Rolling Stone controversial, but for me, controversial.
Could these acts, who all had sold out or nearly sold out concerts have done something more then just send out a PR-friendly messages. Now I’m not sure what they could have done, maybe Carly Rae Jepsen could have made a special video, or the Dixie Chicks could have come up anyway and shopped at some local businesses. KISS could have crashed the Cowboys tent and Bruno Mars and Tim McGraw could have traded in his microphones for a shovel or work gloves.
You’ll see from the tweets below, that nearly all the artists acknowledged the flood and their canceled concerts, but is that really enough? I’m not trying to sound petty or demanding, because if anything, Calgarians have shown that we don’t need handouts or pity. When put to the task, we rise to the occasion and a month of the floods, we’re actually doing pretty okay. But, if I may be so bold to put myself into their shoes, seeing the footage of the flood, seeing what so many people went through, didn’t any of them want to do something other than send a tweet? Especially when you already have a ticket to come to the city anyway? Just cause the Saddledome was closed, doesn’t mean the whole city was. There was really nothing stopping them.
Some of the acts did take to Twitter, here’s what I could find:
Yes, we’re working on it.”@doesntbelieveu: are there any plans to reschedule the Calgary date that was cancelled due to the flooding?”
— Dixie Chicks (@dixiechicks) July 14, 2013
So sad to hear about the floods in Calgary and that the show was cancelled. I’ll be back soon! Stay safe everyone! Xox — Carly Rae Jepsen (@carlyraejepsen) July 4, 2013
Thoughts, prayers and love to everyone affected by the flooding in Calgary. Needed 2 postpone our show this week, but it won’t keep us away — Tim McGraw (@TheTimMcGraw) July 3, 2013
Calgary I just heard the saddledome is closed after the flood. I can’t play my show but I will come back soon – hold on to your tickets!
— Bruno Mars (@BrunoMars) July 5, 2013
Kiss made no mention of the flood or the canceled show. But they did manage to tweet about the pop-up store which opened in Calgary, even though their show was canceled.
CALGARY KISS ARMY DEPOT STORE NOW OPEN Here’s a photo of the KISS Army Depot store at the Chinook Center Mall… http://t.co/LLhLyDh1qG
— KISS (@KISSOnline) July 10, 2013
The gesture, or lack their of, of not stepping up the way I thought they should, hasn’t really changed my opinion of the bands. I still have my Dixie Chicks tickets and plan on using them when they eventually come back to Calgary. But given that all of the musicians had a ample information and chance to do something remarkable and didn’t? Well, that’s something I won’t soon forget.