Feedback: Watertown Gets Smacked Down, Godsmack Performing Elsewhere


'Godsmack' will play the Can Am Speedway in Lafargeville in late August, the local promoter of the concert announced Thursday morning.

Paul Simmons of AMP Entertainment said he could no longer wait fior city hall to decide the future of the popular heavy metal band's August 20 show.

"We gave and waited the timelines that we had to wait. We just couldn't wait any longer and we're very happy with where we're going," said Simmons

City officials have delayed granting final approval to Godsmack playing the fairgrounds, out of concern about the crowd it would attract.

A rock concert earlier this summer drew complaints of fans urinating in public, fighting and the theft of a city vehicle near the concert.

"Can Am will have the capability of handling the size, safety, organization and control of such an event of this magnitude," said Sebby Abbate of AMP Entertainment.

With less than a month to go before the concert, only 1,200 tickets have been sold - far less than the 5, 000 to 7,000 expected.

"I think it has to do with whether the show was going to be able to happen or not and people are afraid to buy a ticket if they're not going to have a show," said Abbate.

"I called them a few times, they came out and met and they went over the plan with the security and what they had in place for everything, and to be honest with you, we couldn't say yes fast enough," said Chip Burdick, manager of Can Am Speedway.

Mayor Jeff Graham said city hall decided to give Godsmack the go-ahead, and planned to tell promoter Simmons that today.

"There was supposed to be a meeting this morning to outline the conditions and for whatever reasons, the promoters decided to use another venue. Maybe they thought it was less restrictive," said Graham.

City officials and city manager Mary Corriveau met earlier this week to discuss the show.

A separate, but generally related, issue has been the city's overall concert and beer sale policies: council has been deeply involved in reorganizing the city's parks and recreation office.

Graham said in the process of hammering out the details to approve the Godsmack concert, the city has come up with a much better management structure for future events at the fairgrounds ballpark.

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Saturday, December 3, 2016
, Watertown, NY

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