Frank Sinatra Jr. and the Mahaffey Theater: How do music venues handle sudden deaths and illnesses?
At about 5 p.m. Wednesday, Scott Schecter got a call with some bad news. Frank Sinatra Jr. had fallen ill before a concert in Daytona Beach. Thursday's concert at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg was in jeopardy.
"Doctors are looking at it," Sinatra's tour manager told Schecter, the president of Big3 Entertainment, which had booked Sinatra. "We're trying to figure out what's going on. Follow up next week, and we'll try to figure out a rescheduled date."
The venue sent out a vague but urgent media release about the cancellation of the nearly sold-out concert, and promised more details. Less than three hours later, Sinatra's agent called back, and the news was much more somber: The singer had died of cardiac arrest at 72.
"The protocol is, you just notify everybody, you make the refunds, and what else can you say, except express your sadness about it?" Schecter said Thursday. "We were sad for the family, but what else can you do?"
For more on how music venues handle the sudden deaths and illnesses of planned performers, click here.