Nearly a week ago, wind gusts reaching 70 miles an hour took a toll on Fayetteville's largest music venue. Now, cleanup is underway at the Arkansas Music Pavilion.
Straight line winds from the July 7 storm downed fences and scattered portable restrooms and chairs at the pavilion, known as the Amp, at the Washington County Fairgrounds.
The Amp's large, white tent has been deemed a total loss, but the venue’s main stage appears to be salvageable.
Now, a quick, safe and efficient cleanup is the task at hand.
“We have really just been focused on cleaning up the area and making it safe,” and Beth Goodwin, a spokesman for the Walton Arts Center, which operates the Amp. “Taking down the tent, making sure there is no infrastructure that could be dangerous, and cleaning up all of the debris and piling the chairs.”
Insurance adjustors are assessing the damage at the Amp, which originally cost about $300,000 to construct. It could take up to three weeks to determine a dollar amount.
It’s yet to be decided if improvements or changes will be made, but leaving the venue’s stage uncovered is certainly an option.
“We have had shows that were uncovered in the past, so if that’s the route we need to take then it’s completely typical and doable,” Goodwin explained.
No shows have been cancelled, she said.
“The goal of this week is to make sure all of the debris is up,” she said. “We will probably do that into next week. We have to order a new tent for the VIP area, replace some lights.”
Broken lights and chairs, damaged fencing, a flattened tent, the VIP area destroyed… despite the clean-up challenge ahead, Goodwin remains optimistic.
“The good news is it’s not going to impact the shows for the remainder of the season. If patrons have tickets, then don’t worry, we will still move forward with those shows,” Goodwin said.
The clean-up process is expected to be complete by the end of next week, in time for the Aug. 17 Taste of Country concert.