James Taylor, wife Kim donate $10,000 to Albany Med in wake of gala’s cancellation

Times Union Center GM: Promoter failed to make payment
James Taylor and his wife, Albany native Kim Hessberg Taylor.
James Taylor and his wife, Albany native Kim Hessberg Taylor.

Despite his disappointment with the cancellation of Friday’s gala concert at the Times Union Center, James Taylor gave anyway.

On Monday, Taylor and his wife, Albany native Kim Hessberg Taylor, donated $10,000 to the Pediatric Emergency Department at Albany Medical Center. The donation will go toward the development of a 24-hour center dedicated to providing emergency medical care to children and teens.

“It is an institution that is very special to me,” Kim Hessberg Taylor said in a statement. “We’re happy to be able to provide this support.”

The concert, slated to feature Taylor and John Legend, was intended to celebrate recent renovations at the center and raise funds for the Pediatric Emergency Department. Moriah Formica, a Shaker High School student and former contestant on “The Voice,” was set to open the show, and Jim Belushi was scheduled to host.

“Over the last week, we received word from the promoter that he did not have the money to pay a required deposit. He also said he didn’t have the money to risk or take a loss should one occur,” said Bob Belber, the general manager of the TU Center.

WIthout the deposit, the center could lose money on the show. It was a risk the center, which is owned by Albany County and managed by SMG, wasn’t willing to take.

The promoter, Metropolitan Entertainment Consultants LLC, has worked with the TU Center previously and with several venues in New York state and New Jersey. In 1990, the company presented Frank Sinatra during the opening night of the Knickerbocker Arena (which is now the TU Center). 

“In this case, there were just untenable issues that could not be overcome,” Metropolitan President John Scher wrote in an emailed statement about the cancellation. “In fact, the venue was a full partner on this event, and the show was canceled without our input.”

As of Sunday, around 6,000 tickets had been sold for the gala. Though the center has a seating capacity upward of 16,000, Belber said the cancellation was not due to ticket sales.

“We normally see big increases in sales during the week that a show comes in,” Belber said. Late last week, the venue had promoted tickets at new prices. The center and Metropolitan both worked to promote the show, and before the show was canceled, around $33,000 was spent on advertising the event, according to Belber.

Belber said the TU Center will work with another promoter to plan a gala concert that will feature other big-name artists and will raise money for the same organization.

“We also intend to invite Moriah Formica, the local sensation who was on “The Voice” TV show, to be a part of it depending on scheduling,” Belber said.

All tickets will be refunded, according to Belber. For those who purchased tickets through Ticketmaster, the site will automatically refund the credit card used. All others should bring their tickets to the point of purchase for a refund.

Categories: News, Schenectady County

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