MANHATTAN — The McCain Performance Series at Kansas State University is canceling plans for a full subscription series in fall 2020. The decision, made in consultation with university officials, is for the safety of students, staff, volunteers, patrons and artists in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“It was a heartbreaking decision erasing up to two years of planning,” said director Todd Holmberg. “Ultimately, the guiding principle in this decision was the safety of the campus and community. The decision was also predicated on the fact that several scheduled artists and attractions were canceling their own plans to tour until at least January 2021.”
The 2020-2021 McCain Performance Series was scheduled to be announced in early June with single ticket sales to begin in August.
The unannounced schedule included 14 major events, two of which were rescheduled from April to fall: “Piff the Magic Dragon” and Kool & The Gang, which are now postponed indefinitely. For those two shows, McCain Auditorium is in the process of notifying patrons and providing them with options of donating the value of their tickets to McCain, obtaining a gift certificate to be used in the future, or receiving a refund. Ticket holders for those two shows should contact McCain Auditorium via email at firstname.lastname@example.org with their preference by Aug. 31.
McCain is working on rescheduling as many fall 2020 shows to fall 2021 as possible. No plans have been made at this time to cancel spring semester shows, which also have not been announced. Those shows will only happen however if it is determined by university, government and health officials that it safe to do so.
“Many people have already asked about the auditorium’s financial viability as a result of the cancellations,” Holmberg said. “The McCain Performance Series is not financially supported by the university or the state of Kansas. With potentially no ticket income, we hope to weather the storm with our emergency cash reserves that were funded through private donations and to rely on the generosity of current and future McCain donors. We are also discussing internally some alternate one-off events that might be considerably smaller in scale or occur outdoors or virtually. We will have to be creative with our event planning and fundraising, but I am optimistic that McCain will emerge stronger on the other side.”