Friday, July 18, 2008

The cost of putting your name on something

Last night my wife and I went to a concert with a number of people from our church at an outdoor amphitheatre once known as Pine Knob. We were eager to hear Steven Curtis Chapman and Michael W. Smith. Although we normally sit on the lawn when attending concerts at this facility we were fortunate to have received free tickets in the pavilion, along with VIP parking and even a buffet supper, through the generosity of a local supermarket chain. But the concert – most of it anyway – wasn’t to be. After the opening act Steven Curtis Chapman sang his first song, after which the power in the theatre went out. The lighting around the park outside the theatre was still operating. After a few minutes without sound and light the power came back on and Chapman sang a verse of his next song, then the power cut out again. This went on until around 9:00 when Linda and I decided to leave. It was hot and Linda was beginning to wilt. And we worried about being able to find our way out in the dark. As if to underline our concern, as we walked through the parking lot, all the power in the facility went down. Not even an emergency light shined in the parking lot. This morning we called the church office and found that the power failures continued until 10:00 when the performers gave up and everyone went home.

Why am I writing this? Because several years ago DTE Energy, the electric company in the Detroit area, paid probably several million dollars to name the theatre “The DTE Energy Music Theatre.” Talk about getting egg on your face. Perhaps DTE should invest in a backup generator for the DTE Energy Music Theatre.

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