(CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — A severe thunderstorm tore a hole in the fabric roof of downtown Charlottesville, Virginia’s new Charlottesville Pavilion, ripping the $1 million textile covering only two weeks before the entertainment venue was set to open. The pavilion is part of a venture headed by Coran Capshaw, who also manages the Dave Matthews Band.
Amphitheater General Manager Kirby Hutto said to expect the scheduled shows to go on.
“We’ve got one section of the roof that’s badly torn and we’re working with our staff to see what options are available to us,” Hutto told the Charlottesville Daily Progress. “We’re hearing from our experts now and they’re going to be reviewing our options, but so far no one has waved any red flags or given any indication that we shouldn’t open the facility as planned.”
The shed was scheduled to open with a free performance by jazz/funk outfit Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe on July 27. The first ticketed event is country legend Loretta Lynn on July 30.
Several thunderstorms tore through the central Virginia area on Wednesday, July 13 bringing extremely strong winds and heavy rain. The storms interrupted power to the area and downed some trees.
The pavilion roof, made of special construction designed in Europe, is engineered to withstand hurricane force winds of about 100 mph one it is in place and set. The roof fabric must have time to stretch to perperly fit the pavilion’s structure and the storm struck before the process was completed.
“After the roof is in place and tensioned, it can easily withstand the wind we had [Wednesday],” Hutto told the paper. “But the tensioning takes about five days, which means we had one five-day window of vulnerability while the roof went up. The storm hit us on day four. If it had hit us [Thursday], we’d have been fine.”
The facility will go on with construction that’s not related to the roof to ensure that the pavilion will still be ready no matter what.
“As for the roof and the concerts, at this point it looks as though we’ll be ready to go.” Hutto continued. “The question is whether we’ll have a full roof, a partial roof or maybe no roof.” –by CelebrityAccess Staff Writers