The free Three Dog Night concert to benefit Hospice of South Central Indiana Saturday evening will be held at the Columbus North High School gym instead of outdoors at Mill Race Park.
The first 7,000 people — the gym's capacity, according to school officials — will be given tickets to enter the gym, said hospice's Jayne Luther.
The concert begins at 6:30 p.m. with Blair Carman and the Bellview Boys, but organizers still are determining a time for doors to open.
Hospice leaders made the decision Wednesday morning after talking with National Weather Service forecasters in Indianapolis. Meteorologists have forecasted rain for much of the weekend here as a leftover spinoff of Hurricane Isaac.
Accuweather, a private forecasting firm, is predicting a 60 percent chance of thunderstorms Saturday.
A severe storm aborted last year's hospice concert with Grand Funk Railroad just before the band was scheduled to take the Mill Race Park stage. Hospice classic rock concerts have been held every Labor Day weekend since 1987.
Only one concert, with The Platters and The Drifters in 1988, was moved to the gym. An overflow crowd estimated at nearly 7,000 people filled the venue and took the floor to dance, despite elevated temperatures inside.
But Hospice concerts back then had not yet become the holiday tradition they have now as one of the largest single-day events here. And that was before crowds swelled to 10,000-plus at the park.
For several years in the 1980s and 1990s, concerts were held at the Bartholomew County Library Plaza while Mill Race was undergoing renovations.
Attendance numbers matter partly for the concert because sales of food, t-shirts, glow necklaces and the like sold at the event benefit the work of hospice's work to help terminally ill patients and their families. Each year, except for last year, hospice generates about $90,000 to help cover costs with expenses from bereavement counseling to medical supplies.
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