TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) - News 18 is learning more about what led promoters to postpone Nelly's performance in Lafayette. Security costs were an issue throughout. However, what led to the final decision?
"Everybody was ready for the concert," said Marqus Martin, a ticket holder for the Nelly concert. "And they knew it was going to be sold out. Every restaurant in the area was ready for it."
Martin works at one of those restaurants, however he got the night off for the concert.
"I was mad, it cost me a night of wages," said Martin. "But I figure there is a reason."
Nelly was expected to perform with Bone Thugs N Harmony Thursday at the Tippecanoe Amphitheater, but now the Nelly concert is postponed.
"There has to be a reason. Do you know why?" asked Martin.
Lafayette Theater Manager Nick Perez said the reasoning behind the delayed show is security costs. The Tippecanoe Emergency Management Agency and county leaders originally handed promoters a security cost plan totaling $38,000. That original plan required a command center, drones and a bomb sniffing dog.
"We walked into the meeting and we were totally shocked," said Perez. "We all kind of looked at each other like, is this for real?"
Perez told county leaders and area law enforcement those security costs were out of their budget. Commissioners and TEMA came back with a lower number and eventually got costs down to $6,700.
"At that point it was pretty much too late to try and put things together in that short period of time," said Perez.
News 18 asked TEMA Deputy Director Marty Webb how security costs could originally be that high. Webb told News 18 part of the security cost assessment is to consider what type of crowd is expected to be there. He said it would have been different if it was an orchestra playing or a blue grass band. TEMA Director Smokey Anderson confirmed this.
"We look at all of those factors," said Anderson. "We absolutely look at those."
However, Anderson said costs were also that high because of alcohol.
"We do think that the two semis of alcohol did play a factor," said Anderson.
"We're not giving up," said Perez. "Our goal is to bring entertainment to Lafayette."
Perez said going through this has been a learning experience. However, he's determined to reschedule Nelly in the fall so people like Martin get to see the artist they paid for.
"I'm just glad he is coming back," said Martin. "So I got no beef."
Again, Perez said the Nelly concert will be rescheduled sometime in the fall on a Saturday.
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