Dad’s Garage Theatre Company, Atlanta’s spunky improvisational comedy group, is postponing its biggest fundraiser of the year, the Big Stupid Parking Lot Carnival, due worries about the coronavirus and lackluster ticket sales.
“We have seen a major stall in ticket sales due to uncertainty over coronavirus as well as this season’s unusually wet weather,” said managing director Lara Smith.
“It’s not just that the sales were lower; they had slowed to a crawl,” she added. “We were struggling to sell ten tickets a week.”
At its peak, the one-day event, staged in the parking lot of the theater group’s Old Fourth Ward headquarters, drew 2,500 visitors. This year’s attendance at the event, planned for March 28, was expected to be at least 1,500, but only 150 tickets had been sold as of this week. The carnival has been rescheduled to take place August 8, to coincide with the theater group’s 25th-anniversary party.
This postponement is only the latest in a series of events affected by the spread of the novel coronavirus, which has now spread to Georgia and prompted the temporary closing of Fulton County Schools.
In the meantime, Dad’s Garage will continue to host comedy events, including its “Improvised Dungeons & Dragons” shows on Fridays and its puppet soap opera, “Scandal: Felt Street.”
Board chairman Derin Dickerson said the group will take extra precautions during its regular programming to reduce possible exposure to disease, and will modify its plans as the developing situation requires. “We are continuing to monitor news statements from experts, public health officials, county health departments, and if they recommend closing public gathering places, we will adjust our plan accordingly.”
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The Big Stupid Parking Lot Carnival began as Bacon Fest, which included many of the same games, carnival rides and booths, with the added attraction of many pounds of bacon. The group did away with the bacon last year, rebranding the event, and keeping such attractions as booths that offered “Redneck Wine Tasting” and “Improvised Erotic FanFiction.”
NOTE: Concerns about the coronavirus have resulted in the cancellation of many events and large gatherings. The AJC will monitor these announcements and keep you informed about any postponements, rescheduling and cancellations, but it’s best to check with venues or event organizers before making plans to attend. To get the latest on the coronavirus, download the AJC news app.
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