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No Rock the Park this year

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Organizers of Rock the Park are joining with Our Hospice of South Central Indiana for hospice’s annual Labor Day weekend concert.

Columbus Area Arts Council leaders recently decided to skip the 2014 Rock the Park or any similar concert fundraiser when they discovered they and hospice staff were looking at some of the same bands as headliners. Their events would have been separated by only about two weeks.

“Neither of us wanted to compete with the other,” said Karen Shrode, the arts council’s executive director.

Last year, REO Speedwagon played to a sold-out audience of more than 7,000 at Mill Race Park for Rock the Park. Hospice leaders have worked to draw bands from more recent eras. At the same time, the arts council recently found success with classic rock groups such as REO last year and Foreigner, which drew 7,025, in 2012.

Arts council leaders said they will switch music formats by next year. Shrode said she is uncertain what direction that will take.

“This will give us a chance to re-gauge where we want to go,” she said.

Shrode said it’s possible Rock the Park organizers will seek up-and-coming acts.

Hospice President Laura Hurt said her agency is grateful for the arts council’s help.

“We realize they have a lot of (concert) experience,” Hurt said.

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