Promoters Cancel Country Music Show

This appeared in the Peoria Journal Star - July 15, 2003

A concert featuring legendary country musician Merle Haggard and singer Marty Stuart that had been scheduled for Sunday (July 20) in Chillicothe has been canceled, promoters announced Monday.

Three Sisters Park near Chillicothe was one of nearly two dozen stops planned for The Electric Barnyard Tour, a traveling country music festival that kicked off July 6.

Despite the presence of Haggard and Stuart - huge names in the world of country music - some individual tour stops had sold less than 300 or 400 advance tickets. The poor response convinced organizers to pull the plug on a handful of shows, including Chillicothe's, according to Mike Armintrout, spokesman for Jay Goldberg Events & Entertainment, local promoters for the show.

"It would have been a really cool thing, but the entire tour was suffering from extremely poor ticket sales," Armintrout said.

He later added: "Merle Haggard and Marty Stuart . . . they've got a ton of hits. Who knew that we wouldn't be able to put bodies in the seats?"

Armintrout said about 400 tickets had sold for Chillicothe's show.

Tickets were being sold for $25 in advance, and Armintrout advised anyone with a ticket to return to the Ticketmaster location from where they bought it for a refund. Or they can consult

Employees at the firm handling publicity for the tour said the show will not be rescheduled, but they would not comment on why it was canceled.

Haggard, 66, is considered by many to be among country music's most important figures. Paroled from prison in 1960, Haggard played small clubs until he notched a series of popular records in the 1960s, including "Okie From Muskogee" and "Mama Tried."

Stuart, 44, also has collected several Top 10 country hits, including: 1990's "Hillbilly Rock" and 1992's "Burn Me Down."

By Brad Burke

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