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Site suffers storm damage overnight, symphony postponed until Sunday

The symphony site near Bazaar experienced serious storms the night before the event. Tents that took crews several days to set up were knocked down, and chairs, tables and other event items were thrown about the grounds. (Photo by Brogan Gillmore)

By Daniel Caudill, Flint Hills Media Project

For the first time in 14 years, the Symphony in the Flint Hills has been postponed, following damage to the site from a Friday-night storm.

Christy Davis, outgoing executive director of the Symphony in the Flint Hills, said the organization is primarily using email and cell phone lists to notify ticket holders that the event will be held Sunday. Local media outlets are also helping to spread the word.

With many symphony-goers traveling from outside of Chase County and booking lodging for their trip, Davis said ticket holders will only be able to get a refund or extended stay if their lodging site allows it.

“We don’t make lodging arrangements for folks generally,” she said. “We’re pretty clear that we’re an outdoor event, and when folks come, they’re taking that chance.”

Fortunately, Davis said survey responses indicate that most ticket holders book lodging for Saturday night rather than Friday night.

“The good news is that if we have a postponement ‘til tomorrow and we’re able to have an event, they will have had a place to stay the night before,” she said.

Davis said the postponement is likely to negatively impact attendance.

“I would expect a smaller crowd,” she said.

With the symphony pushed back, staff at the Symphony in the Flint Hills office are encouraging people to spend Saturday in Cottonwood Falls, where local businesses and attractions are open.

An art and retail gallery originally planned for the symphony will open at 3 p.m. at the SFH office, where it will be on display until Wednesday. A silent auction will be held as part of the gallery.

Symphony staff are awaiting a site damage assessment before determining whether other planned events will be postponed or canceled.

In the event of more inclement weather Saturday night or Sunday, Davis said the symphony could be cancelled outright.

“If it was a concern of a little bit of rain, that would be one thing,” she said. “But we have to be sure that folks are safe, and also as a conservation organization that we don’t cause unnecessary damage to the pasture for the folks who have volunteered to host us at their property.”

General admission tickets are non-refundable in the event of a cancellation.

In spite of the postponement frenzy, Davis said she’s confident in her team at the SFH office.

“We have a killer team,” she said. “We all know that this could happen, so we’re prepared for it. It’s just plan for the worst and hope for the best.

“We’re at the mercy of the weather.”

Davis stressed that although the symphony is the yearly focal point for SFH, the organization is busy working year-round.

“I hope that people understand that when they contribute to the organization … that they’re contributing to an organization that’s working year-round to advance the mission to heighten appreciation and knowledge of the Tallgrass Prairie.” — Christy Davis


JoAnn Davis

This will be my first time attending but even if canceled as disappointed I will be, I’m satisfied that my money is going to a great organization. My great grandparents lived in Cottonwood Falls and buried at Mattfield Green Cemetery. I think of them every time we drive through the Flint Hills.


So disappointed and cant go tomorrow. Is the donation tax deductible?

Jan B

We didn’t get the memo this morning, but are having a delightful day poking around Cottonwood Falls. Ad astra in Strong City. Is humming, but provides great food & “local” suds.


Sending strength to you Kristie!!