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Phillips honors canceled concert

November 14, 2013

The Phillip Phillips performance at UW-River Falls, which was originally scheduled for Finals Fest 2013, has been rescheduled to Friday, Nov. 15.

The event will begin with an opening act by the band DUGAS at 8 p.m., followed by Phillips at 9 p.m., in the Knowles Center. The event is non-ticketed and open to the public.

Album cover for Phillip Phillips
The debut album by Phillip Phillips, “The World from the Side of the Moon,” was release a year ago.

Phillips was unable to perform during Finals Fest last May due to health issues. These health issues caused him to cancel his entire Wisconsin tour. When notified that Phillips was unable to perform on the set concert date last May, Featured Events Coordinator Karyn Wells discussed the contingency plan with the University Center Productions Staff and the Office of Student Life.

“Although we could not have anticipated the cancellation of the Phillip Phillips concert last year, you always know in the back of your mind that anything can happen,” Wells said.

The ultimate decision of the group was if Student Life would continue with plans for Finals Fest.

“Fortunately, we have a number of staff on campus that are committed to providing these experiences for students, so we decided to continue with the Finals Fest event featuring local bands,” Wells said.

After the cancellation and the contingency plans were set in motion, the thought of rescheduling the performance was addressed. With Phillips’ health issues, the Office of Student Life was unsure if rescheduling the concert was a possibility. The “American Idol” season 11 winner is currently on tour with John Mayer, which initially affected his availability to reschedule the cancelled concert.

The Nov. 15, date for the concert worked well with the on-campus event calendar, according to Director of Student Life Paul Shepherd. However, he said the optimal time for Phillips to appear would have been Week of Welcome (WOW), but with Phillips tour schedule that was not possible.

“Anytime you schedule these sorts of events, you have to be as flexible as possible,” Shepherd said.

According to Wells, once Phillips’ health issues were resolved she received confirmation that Phillips expressed hope that he could reschedule his cancelled concert.

“We are fortunate for his loyalty to his fans and we are very lucky the dates proposed logistically worked to bring him back to campus,” Wells said.

The Office of Student Life presents many on campus activities that are intended to enrich students’ on-campus experiences, such as Finals Fest. Wells said that student stand to gain an interesting and rewarding experience from attending the concert.

“The thing that’s fantastic about Phillip Phillips is the fact that his music attracts a variety of listeners, regardless of their genre interest,” Wells said. “It will be a unique and memorable experience for students if they attend.”

Shepherd also said that the concert will benefit students as well as the River Falls community.

“For me, the win in it for us is that it’s a community event,” Shepherd said.