Freeman Stage made the only choice they could


There are very few discussions a group of any size can have without resulting in debate.


Off the top of my head, I think most people can agree on the fact that the sun rises in the east, fire is hot and bald newspaper editors make up the most stunningly attractive species on the planet. Other than that, there isn’t a lot going on that will merit a clear consensus from the masses.

Of course, on a local level, most of us will also agree that our biggest draw to the outside world is that enormous puddle of salt water to the east, crabs should be steamed and never boiled, the Freeman Stage at Bayside is a remarkable cultural boon to our entertainment possibilities and bald newspaper editors make up...

But I digress.

In fact, let’s discuss the Freeman Stage at Bayside for a moment, if you don’t mind. If you do mind, go ahead and turn the page. There’s lots of them this time of year, and I’m sure you will find something put together by a talented and dedicated staff that tickles your fancy.

The Stage has made news around the nation recently, but not necessarily the way I’m sure organizers would have preferred. A performance by The Band Perry was called off on Sunday after an employee at the Bayside Welcome Center reported that two individuals had come in that afternoon and made alarming statements of a threatening nature regarding that evening’s show.

Officials at Bayside decided to contact the Delaware State Police and members of The Band Perry were also notified. Following some discussion, it was decided that the show would be postponed, according to reports.

There has been some talk around the community over what was actually said, and one news outlet reported it was a specific threat concerning firearms, but let’s take a second to remove ourselves from speculation and a he-said/she-said report that will be debated at length between lawyers and possibly a judge and jury down the road.

What we do know is an employee at Bayside deemed the conversation to be enough of a concern to notify her superiors, and they decided it would be prudent to contact the police. After taking stock of the situation, and most likely factoring in the fatal shooting of singer Christina Grimmie at a show in Orlando last month, the decision was made to postpone the concert.

And it was the right choice. And it would have been the right choice 10 years from now, and it would have been the right choice 10 years before the Grimmie tragedy.

Why? Because the people at the Freeman Stage are concerned about the welfare of their performers and patrons. The easy decision for organizers would have been to downplay the incident at the Welcome Center, ask the Delaware State Police to provide additional security at the show and move on with the program.

They spend months and months every year putting together their lineups for the season, and working with the performers on their busy schedules to make everything happen just right each summer. They don’t want to turn away people who paid good money to come see one of their shows, and they don’t want to tell very busy performers that they won’t be able to, you know, perform.

In the interests of full disclosure, we are sponsors of the Stage. We donate advertising space to them so they can better get out the word on their schedule — while not spending the money they raise to help promote the arts to children — and our staff and myself visit every single chance we get. We are proud of the work they do over there, and just as proud to have formed a partnership with them over the years.

But if they screwed this up, or acted irresponsibly in any way, rest assured I would be calling them out for it.

But I’m not going to, and I won’t. The two individuals in question who reportedly started all this will have a chance to have their say to law enforcement or, as I said earlier, a judge and/or jury. Who knows? They could be found innocent, and this entire thing might have been a giant misunderstanding.

But I endorse the notion of erring on the side of caution. The world is a strange place right now, and seemingly getting more strange by the day. It is important that we don’t hide in caves and change the way we live our day-to-day lives, but it’s equally important that we take heed of potential threats surrounding us and not act foolish.

The people at the Freeman Stage took the safety of their patrons and performers seriously, and acted in accordance with that philosophy. Their venue is one that hosts headline performers, childrens’ acts and local artists, and part of the allure and magic of the place is that it feels like a safe, friendly place to take your family and loved ones.

Knowing that safety is the top priority of organizers there makes me even more confident to continue to bring my family there, and grateful that they are a face for our entire community.

Kudos to the people at Freeman Stage at Bayside. Your actions and responsibility to your customers and performers make us even more proud to be your partner and fans.