Plan A is on. Plan B is in the wings.
When Purgatory Resort closed down as a result of the 416 Fire, Music in the Mountains seemed in jeopardy.
After the June 1 fire persisted, organizers of our three-week festival of classical and world music had to get creative.
“We developed contingency plans right away – Plan B,” said Angie Beach, executive director of Music in the Mountains. About to celebrate its 32nd season, the summer collection of concerts needed alternative concert venues, not to mention housing for musicians who come to Durango from all over the world.
“We went to Fort Lewis College with dates in hand,” Beach said. “We asked the college if we could be accommodated for concert spaces and housing. We worked all that out – recitals and orchestra concerts. The plan included the musicians staying in the dorms.”
That was then, before the weather briefly changed.
“The rains came,” Beach continued, even if the rain seemed minimal.
“That plus the magnificent job the firefighters have done gave us the confidence to go back to Plan A. The festival is back at Purgatory. The site is beautiful – pristine.”
Then another major glitch popped up when the furloughed Purgatory staff wasn’t available to set up the Festival Tent, conduct a two-day electrical setup and set the stage.
“We hired an Albuquerque company to put up the tent. The rest will fall into place,” Beach said.
As a gesture of appreciation to the firefighters, Beach said, a percentage of ticket sales made after June 1 when the fire started will go into the Community Emergency Relief Fund.
“We hope when people buy a ticket, they will celebrate the firefighters and help those who need some assistance,” she said.
Judith Reynolds is an arts journalist and member of the American Theatre Critics Association.