Park Plaza Apartments offers to make amends for treatment of attendees at Phoenix Fridays concert

kward1@herald-leader.comAugust 23, 2014 

Phoenix Park, foreground, is an entryway to Central Library, left, and the Park Plaza apartment building at East Main Street and South Limestone downtown.

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A downtown apartment complex says it wants to make amends for the way attendees at an outdoor concert were treated Friday night.

Hundreds of people had gathered at Phoenix Park for performances by Ben Sollee, Josh Nolan and Coralee and the Townies as part of WUKY's Phoenix Fridays concert series when a strong thunderstorm hit.

Some people who tried to take shelter at Park Plaza Apartments were turned away.

Anderson Communities, which owns the apartments, issued a statement Saturday night, saying attendees "may have received less than hospitable treatment from Park Plaza Apartments staff."

The statement said Anderson "does not endorse the decisions or actions taken by our staff."

Anderson Communities said it would donate $100 per person to the charity of choice for people who can attest that they or their child was denied shelter between 7 and 9 p.m. Friday. Those wanting to take advantage of the offer were asked to contact Chris Wray at chris@andersoncommunities.com or (859) 271-4663. The offer ends at midnight Aug. 31.

Wray said Friday that his office had received several requests, but he wouldn't know the full extent until Monday.

The company said it planned to send out policy guidelines to prevent similar incidents during dangerous weather.

Park Plaza promoted the concert on its Facebook page, posting Friday that "Phoenix Fridays concert series is back tonight! Come outside to Phoenix Park to enjoy a free concert starting at 5pm."

On its Facebook page Saturday, WUKY described the scene when the storm hit, saying "many left, some took cover in the local restaurants and businesses, and a surprising number huddled together in front of the library and apartment tower.

"Before we knew it, Ben had seized the moment and proceeded to perform impromptu in the parking structure elevator lobby ... people cheered, sang along and when he finished every face had a smile."

When the rain didn't stop, Sollee offered to perform in the rain.

"We all huddled around them right outside the front door of the library," according to the post. "Umbrellas came out to cover the performers and at the end everyone agreed that the night couldn't have ended any better."

Karla Ward: (859) 231-3314. Twitter: @HLpublicsafety.

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