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'Lack of band' cancels Aretha Franklin's Sarasota show



Anybody got a band? The Queen of Soul needs one. The March 29 concert by Aretha Franklin at  Sarasota's Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall has been canceled, the hall announced Monday "due to a lack of band personnel."

"The Van Wezel is disappointed that Ms. Franklin has cancelled her scheduled performance but hopes to reschedule her in the future," a news release said. Tickets will be refunded from the point of purchase.

It wasn't for lack of ticket sales said Chuck Stevens, Van Wezel's director of marketing. He said tickets were snapped up and sold out within 36 hours of the concert's  announcement in January. But he said it's not unusual for seasoned performers to cancel if they can't get the pianist or band members they prefer.

But Aretha Franklin, a notoriously demanding performer, has a history of canceling shows for odd reasons, like when the weather is bad or she is exhausted.

Sarasota isn't the only dumped date. Franklin's managers canceled other dates on her Florida tour, including St. Augustine March 24 but will still be performing at the Jazz in the Gardens Music Festival in Miami Gardens this weekend, Billboard is reporting.

Stevens said Van Wezel is genuine in its hope to reschedule her show there. "We were disappointed because we were all very excited to see her here," Stevens said. "We sold out so fast our heads spun."

It would have been Franklin's first performance in Sarasota, and her first in the Tampa Bay area since 2005 at Ruth Eckerd Hall.

Contact Sharon Kennedy Wynne at Follow @SharonKWn.


[Last modified: Monday, March 14, 2016 4:19pm]


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