Lynn Community Development Director Jamie Marsh usually attends a major entertainment industry trade show in New York City where he meets with agents to sign acts for the Lynn Auditorium
Last week, he participated in the conference by remote. But whether Marsh, head of the Lynn Auditorium entertainment division, will be able to hold shows in Lynn in 2021 depends on the status of the coronavirus pandemic.
“We’re on a third round of pushing dates back to the spring and summer of 2021 and I imagine we’ll probably push those into the fall of 2021, if not in 2022,” said Marsh.
There are some sure-sellout acts that had been booked for 2020 and rescheduled for 2021 but have not been announced yet.
“We don’t want to announce the shows and put the tickets on sale and have people buy tickets if it’s looking like we may push back the date,” said Marsh. “It’s just not fair to the consumer to put something on sale.”
According to Marsh, one of the last scheduled shows for the Lynn Auditorium was when comedian Artie Lange was set to appear in March, 2020.
“He must have had some premonition because he canceled the day before,” said Marsh. “We had the Beach Boys on March 22 and they canceled, but we’re working on a new date. I would say 90 percent of our shows have just been rescheduled, not outright canceled.”
The success of the Lynn Auditorium’s entertainment schedule has been extraordinary and a credit to Marsh and his staff. The Boston Pops was the first show in 2006.
Many acts have drawn sell-out crowds. People come to Lynn from all area communities and pack the downtown restaurants on show nights.
“Our goal is to bring first-class entertainment into the city and put people into the downtown,” said Marsh. “The resulting economic spinoff that happens before and after shows is so important to Lynn.”
The deleterious economic impact of the canceled shows has been wide reaching, according to Marsh.
“For instance, if we bring in Pat Benatar, it’s starts with her, she’s not working, and it goes to her agent and road crew, her management team – there’s her side of the coin,” explained Marsh.
“And then we’re not spending advertising dollars on billboards, newspapers, and radio. We’re not hiring a bartending service and normally on a big show, that’s probably 12 individuals. We’re not hiring police and fire and EMTs for the shows. We’re not hiring our ushers and our ticket takers. There’s my staff. There’s a cleaning crew. And the restaurants aren’t jam packed and aren’t booking reservations in advance.
“Usually, when there’s a big show you can’t get into some of the area restaurants – they’re just booked solid months in advance,” said Marsh.
Of course, some of the up-and-coming talents also don’t have a terrific venue like the Lynn Auditorium in which to perform. For example, St. Mary’s student Amanda Mena, a finalist on “America’s Got Talent,” would no doubt have been called upon often as a young, rising star vocalist and performer for the shows.
Hopefully, the coronavirus pandemic will go away soon and the Lynn Auditorium will be full again on show nights with appreciative fans enjoying first-class entertainment.