Breaking: Philadelphia cancels concert due to Eagles

Breaking: Philadelphia cancels concert due to Eagles


norman lebrecht

February 06, 2018

Message from the orchestra:

REGARDING THURSDAY’S CONCERT: Out of respect for the safety of our patrons, Thursday’s 7:30 PM performance has been canceled. This decision was made after evaluating numerous factors related to the Eagles Super Bowl Parade that would make it challenging for our patrons and Orchestra musicians to attend the concert.

Ticket holders for Thursday’s performance may: 1. Exchange your tickets for Friday or Saturday 2. Exchange your tickets for another program on the 2017-18 season 3. Donate your tickets back to the Orchestra or 4. Request a refund.

To make arrangements, please contact Ticket Philadelphia (, 215.893.1999) or log on to make exchanges through My Account. Thank you for your understanding and congratulations to our Eagles! 🦅

The concert was to have been conducted by Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla.



  • Jim Utz says:

    Since when is a Super Bowl Parade a riot? The Kimmel Center is located right on the celebration route, and they are expecting a huge turnout for their first Superbowl win in history. I don’t understand why your headline went there.

    • John Kelly says:

      It was a riot on Sunday evening, that’s why. The President missed a tweeting opportunity to decry the looting and destruction of property – oh no, it’s his base doing it – if they were all minorities you would be seeing rather different coverage of the event………….

      • Jim Utz says:

        Why must everything be seen through the prism of what Mr. Trump thinks about it? How about the tens of thousands that celebrated in the streets of Philadelphia in a responsible way on Sunday night? It’s only the crazies that get the news coverage.

    • Sarah says:

      And some bleeptard RIPPED OUT a seat in the new US Bank stadium here in Minneapolis. Those fans are truly demented.

    • Opera Spook says:

      Four million celebrating people are expected in the city centre on Thursday–one hopes this won’t turn into a riot, but even The Pope’s parade was out of control, and the projected numbers are much higher for this parade. The orchestra was concerned about the musicians and artists being able to get into and out of the Kimmel Centre (being located in the middle of town) on Thursday, not to mention access difficulties for their audience. Rehearsals will take place today, and the other concert performance will continue as planned on Friday.

  • anon says:

    There will still be a Friday matinee at 2:00 pm, and a Saturday evening concert at 8:00 pm. Philadelphia has not missed its opportunity to see Mirga conduct Mozart Piano Concerto no. 23 (with Menahem Pressler) and Mahler 4.

  • Anonymous says:

    Because we all know winning the Super Bowl is the most important thing in life.

    • Anon says:

      What is ‘super bowl’?

      • Scotty says:

        Assuming you’re not kidding here. The American football championship game. It’s the first time Philadelphia’s team has won.

        • Mike says:

          And that means what? You personally won? What you won? Will it really change anything?

          • Scotty says:

            If by “you,” you mean me, not only did I not win, and not only am I not from Philadelphia, I don’t care which set of uniforms wins in any sport. I was just answering Anon’s question.

          • Bruce says:

            It’s a thing called ‘sports,’ and around many sports there are people called ‘fans’ — specifically, ‘sports fans.’ It’s a fairly common phenomenon throughout much of Western civilization. If you need to know more, you could google ‘what is a sports fan’ — that would probably give you a good start.

        • MWnyc says:

          And Philadelphia fans have a famously fraught love-hate relationship with their team.

      • Theodore McGuiver says:

        It’s a bowl which is really, really good. We have some at home.

  • Barry says:

    They are expecting 2-3 million people in the downtown area for the parade. The regional rail system, which many orchestra subscribers use to commute from the suburbs to the city for concerts is going to be totally disrupted to the point where it will be impossible for people to use the trains that night to get to and from the concert. On top of that, trying to drive into town will probably also be impossible because of the amount of people and cars already there.
    I don’t see what other choice they had.
    If the crowd is as big as some here are predicting, it may be the largest gathering of people in the history of Philadelphia.

    • MWnyc says:

      Barry, what was the previous record? The Pope’s visit?

      • Barry says:

        Nobody knows with certainty as it’s nearly impossible to get an accurate head count at such gatherings, but my guess would be either John Paul II’s visit (probably a bigger crowd than the one for Francis) or maybe the first Flyers parade in 1974.

  • Rich C. says:

    The PO had Friday AFTERNOON concert on the day of the Phillies parade in 2008. The parade was breaking up by the time of the 2pm concert.

    This concert is on Thursday NIGHT! WTF? The parade will be OVER for almost 6 hours on Thursday!

    • Eric says:

      The Phillies had won previous World Series, where as the Eagles had not. Yes, there are fans throughout the city of both teams, but the culture of it, and the emotion of it is very different.

      And, if the immediate reaction to the NFC Championship victory and the Super Bowl victory in the city was any indication, that city-wide celebration is likely continue beyond the hours of the parade.

  • Barry says:

    And again, the total disruption of the public transport system is an all-day thing. The trains won’t return to regular schedules that would make it possible for concertgoers to get back out to the suburbs, where I would guess the majority of them live, until the following morning.

    • MWnyc says:

      Not to mention that Philadelphia Orchestra subscribers from the Main Line will be intimidated at the thought of sharing the train with rowdy, inebriated Eagles fans.

  • boringfileclerk says:

    This wouldn’t have happened if the Patriots won the Super Bowl!

    • Shalom Rackovsky says:

      That is correct. Philadelphia would have been totally quiet.

      • American Football is not REAL Football says:

        If you’re implying that Boston’s fans are more civilized, think again. A young woman in Boston was killed after the Red Sox won the 2004 world series. And let’s not even talk about the behavior of some European football (i.e., soccer) fans.

  • Lincoln Herring says:

    Too bad about the Thursday performance. Looking forward to seeing Mirga conduct Saturday though!

    • Anon says:

      Maybe you can even invite her to a restaurant after the concert and ask her to conduct a little for you there, so you can see her conduct. Tell us then about it. What seeing her conduct did to you.

  • Alex says:

    Cancel the damn football game instead.

  • M2N2K says:

    Canceling an evening concert because of a daytime parade that would be completely finished by mid-afternoon seems excessively cautious, but my guess is that the other possibility is that they have no choice but to cancel that morning’s rehearsal because of the parade and not enough rehearsal time before Thursday to prepare the program properly or maybe one of the soloists is not even available to rehearse earlier – so they have decided to move that final rehearsal to the concert time in the evening thus being ready for the Friday concert. Just a guess.

  • Paula R says:

    In 2008 I went to the Phillies Parade then attended the 2:00 pm Orchestra Concert. It was very difficult to get into CC at 8 am in the morning. The trains were only going toward CC and they couldn’t handle the crowd. After the 2:00 pm concert was over, it was impossible to get out of the city and this was several hours after the parade was over. There will be many more fans at the Eagles’ parade and will likely be more rowdy than the fans were in 2008. With the safety of the musicians and concert goers in mind, it is a wise idea to cancel the concert.

    • J'aime la musique says:

      This is just another example of the disgustingly pervasive intrusiveness of sports in U. S. society. Can anyone imagine a scenario in which a Philadelphia Orchestra parade would cause the cancellation of a sporting event?! (I think not!)

      • David R Osborne says:

        What are you saying here- Sporting events should be somehow legislated against? That somehow people that love sports have got it wrong? I don’t get it. Classical music is everything to me, but I also love sports and am a 35 year Philadelphia Eagles tragic.

        So here, just so you know, is what the Philadelphia Orchestra thinks of all this:

        • J'aime la musique says:

          Legislation? Who has mentioned legislation in any of the comments above?

          • David R Osborne says:

            Who mentioned legislation? That would have been me. Yes, definitely me… in the context of: ‘you seem to see a great problem here, I’m wondering what you would propose be done about it?

            One reason that sport is so popular is that it can be appreciated on so many different levels, be that as a physical contest, a tactical and intellectual one, or as pure entertainment. It’s a great unifier that cuts across class lines.

            Another really important reason is that it is happening in our time. That was a game for the ages last Sunday and will be long talked about, but at the same time we know there will be more.

            Stay with me then, just for a moment imagine if at some stage last century, the powers in control of American football had decreed that a highly complicated and seemingly arbitrarily devised set of rules would thenceforth apply. Rules that turned the game into something that appeals only to those who have spent years studying them. To all others the game appears bewilderingly meaningless.

            What do you think would happen? Surely people would lose interest or at best, watch only old footage of games before the rules changed.

            A preposterous idea, I hope you agree. Now consider that something very similar to that has happened to our beloved art-form over the past 70 odd years. I’m not saying that classical music could ever rival major sport in popularity, but if we pause for just a moment from shooting ourselves in the foot, we probably could shift the balance, maybe even significantly.

    • Scotty says:

      There’s no reason to single out the U.S. for its obsession over sports. I lived in Cologne when the World Cup was held in Germany (2006) and when Germany won the World Cup (2014). In 2010, when the national team qualified for the quarter finals the celebration bled onto the street car tracks, causing several lines to shut down service. I happened to be on an U-Bahn that was cancelled as soon as it went above ground. Since I was returning from a gig in Vienna, I ended up plowing through the ecstatic (and mostly drunk) crowd with my instrument on my back and dragging a road case packed with electronics and traveling necessities.

  • May says:

    I read the headline and thought that ain’t that a bitch, Hotel California will always outsell classical.

  • SVM says:

    I trust that the orchestra will still pay its musicians and staff, including any freelancers, as though the concert had taken place (i.e.: including all travel, subsistence, and accommodation expenses incurred on the basis of the concert taking place), and not attempt to wriggle-out of such an obligation on the basis of “force majeure” or “exceptional circumstances”.

    It is appalling that, in a major city, a parade is capable of shutting-down everything else. In London, the 2012 Olympics did not prevent festivals such as the Proms taking place as normal (having said that, when I asked Roger Wright publically why the Proms was being so lax about letting-in latecomers at any point during the music, he cited potential transport disruption caused by the Olympics as a factor — personally, I find this an absurd response, given that the overwhelming majority of concertgoers were on time, and thus the principle of the “greater good” would imply that latecomers should wait until a suitable juncture, if there were one), although it is true that the misappropriation of Lottery funding &c. occasioned by the Olympics resulted in many smaller cultural festivals losing vital support (the government has yet to refund the Big Lottery Fund; meanwhile, state-sponsored land-grabs continue throughout London, destroying communities, homes, and businesses).

  • Ben says:

    Unless you’ve experienced the Phillies 2008 parade or the Pope visit (2016?), you would not have a faint idea of how a lock down of the Philadelphia’s Center City is like. The security lock down, and concern about bad apples among the rowdy sports fans would likely be the reason of cancelling the Thursday morning rehearsal.


    Philadelphia Orchestra could technically play the M4 and the Mozart in their sleep. It’s extremely unlikely that the musicians wouldn’t be ready to play the Thursday night without the Thursday morning rehearsal (as some of you have suggested).

    It would be up to the conductor (Mirga) to decide if having less rehearsals would be acceptable. Perhaps Mirga isn’t comfortable of having less rehearsals, but she isn’t an Kleiber yet to just fly home?

  • Tesse says:

    We got caught up in the aftermath of Phillies parade in 2008 when arriving on Amtrak for Kimmel center concert. Cabs and local transit unavailable. Dragged suitcases through littered streets. Many local bars and restaurants filled to capacity or closed. They have learned from prior experience, safest for musicians and audiences this way. Annoying if not part of sports scene but cancellation is best and exchange policy is good.

  • Mathias Broucek says:

    History of the local Football team suggests it may not happen again….