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July 4th Concert & Fireworks CancelledJune 16, 2011
The Austin Symphony Orchestra announced today that it has decided to cancel its annual July 4th Concert & Fireworks. Late last week Travis County and City of Austin Fire authorities pulled the plug on all public fireworks displays for July 4th, as well as consumer fireworks sales.
“We are, of course, disappointed to have to cancel this year’s performance,” stated ASO Executive Director Anthony Corroa. “This is the first time in 35 years that the ASO has had to cancel both the concert and fireworks portions of this concert. This event has been our gift to the city and its citizens for so many years, showing our appreciation for their support during our 100-year existence.”
Austin Symphony administrators had brainstormed over the past weekend after learning of the decision to cancel public fireworks displays. Recognizing that a spectacular fireworks display is a big reason over 100,000 people come out to Auditorium Shores and surrounding areas on July 4th, Austin Symphony administrators have been looking for alternative entertainment components that could replace the fireworks show over Lady Bird Lake.
With the fireworks ban, it was determined that the huge crowds typical at this event may not attend. With funding in question it was then decided that the ASO could not take the chance of having to be financially responsible for the additional costs of producing the concert.
Austin Symphony President Joe R. Long has long emphasized that the reason the Austin Symphony is in sound financial shape is because it does not do anything that it cannot afford. Going ahead with the concert without sufficient financial support could endanger the health of this organization.
Corroa concluded, “Everyone needs to know that the decision to cancel this year’s July 4th Concert was not solely dependent on H-E-B’s support of the concert. H-E-B has been a faithful and dedicated sponsor of the Austin Symphony for over two decades, primarily as a sponsor of the free July 4th Concert & Fireworks, and more recently as the title sponsor of our Centennial Gala Concert with Itzhak Perlman. The decision was made on other factors, including the ban on aerial fireworks in Travis County. We invite everyone to come enjoy our free concerts every Sunday evening in front of the Long Center and we look forward to bringing this tremendous celebration back next July.”