Acacia Place canceled their grand opening concert one day in advance.
The concert was originally going to be on Oct. 21 with performances by Sada Baby, Jolo Reeves, Felix the Don and Munch Squad Music.
Tickets were $40 for students, $60 for general admission and $100 for a meet and greet, and will be refunded back to buyers’ charge cards in the next 10 to 14 business days from the canceled show date.
Though the show was canceled, the grand opening event is expected to be rescheduled.
Ferris alumnus Marc Robert was one of the event organizers and one of the people in charge of promoting the event. According to Robert, building owner Jerry Bowman didn’t have the occupancy permit on file with the county which is initially why the concert was canceled.
“The fire marshal came and inspected the second floor and it passed,” Robert said. “However, since the occupancy permit wasn’t on file at all, he shut it down.”
The City of Big Rapids has verfied that this is the reason why the concert had to be canceled. Bowman was informed that if the Certificate of Occupancy could be provided by the day before the event, the event could continue as scheduled “within the code.”
According to William Sell of the Big Rapids DPS, “The department was unfamiliar with the occupancy rating for that space and wanted to ensure the safety of all of the participants during the event. Upon arrival, it was found that there were no posted occupancy ratings and, when requested, the owners were unable to provide proof of a Certificate of Occupancy per the building code.”
Ferris alumnus Ralph Lang also helped organize the concert. He believes that he “dropped the ball” regarding the required permit issues and fire requirements.
“It’s a little embarrassing, to be honest, but we decided it was best to deal with the situation by playing it safe and making a difficult choice,” Lang said. “We are humbled that an event was canceled, but looking forward to moving on and will continue to work with the municipality to protect all of the parties involved.”
Lang feels that “canceled events are never easy,” but knew this was the best route to go because they didn’t want to “put anyone at risk.”
“We want to maintain the best relationship possible while also maintaining a great public appearance,” Lang said.
The flyer promoting the Sada Baby concert stated that they were limited to 225 people, but according to Lang, the number of ticket sales was below the total building occupancy. Robert describes the cancellation as “just a bump in the road.”
“There were a total of 225 available tickets and we had sold over half of them,” Robert said. “We had so many people reach out to inquire if tickets were available at the door. We were quite confident that we would have sold out the show.”
Robert explained that the show was considered a “promotional” event. The concert was going to be professionally filmed for social media marketing in the future. Along with this, channels nine and 10 were going to film the entire show and then follow with a news special.
According to Robert, Bowman is “taking care” of the permits. Though there are plans to reschedule Acacia Place’s grand opening concert, the new date and details are still unknown. Look to future Torch editions for more information on rescheduling the event.