We just received a personal statement from Kirk Colvin, former general manager of the Plaza Live. As of June 1, Colvin was no longer an employee of the Plaza and was not present at the Plaza on Friday, June 10, when young singer Christina Grimmie was shot. Grimmie later died of her gunshot wounds.
The Plaza was bought by the Orlando Philharmonic in 2013 and is managed by their board. On June 1, they let go the existing Plaza management team. The Christina Grimmie concert was the first event managed by the new staff.
I am a very private person but after the shooting of Christina and the endless media attention I’m compelled to release a personal statement for the clarity.
My heart goes out to the family of Christina who was a wonderful, talented up and coming artist murdered at The Plaza Live in this senseless tragedy. I'm thankful all the Plaza staff was quickly accounted for and safe.
For over 6 years I’ve managed to remain behind the scenes as the general manager of the Plaza LIVE, only a faceless name, and could walk through the Plaza with 99% of the patrons not knowing who I was. Now in light of the unfortunate actions taken by the Philharmonic board and the shooting last night I find myself having to defend my professional reputation since most patrons, artists, and agents think I was there last night managing the Plaza. Since the shooting I have fielded 100s of emails, texts, and phone call from folks wanting to know how this happened or press requests for interviews.
As of June 1st I was no longer employed by the board as the GM of the Plaza Live and have not been on site since. Having served in that position since 2010 I have personally managed 700+ events with 1,200+ artists without incident and I’m proud of my history at the Plaza and the personal touch I provided taking the time to know each artist’s music, history, and in many cases them.
It was not publicly known that the entire management team was replaced by the Orlando Philharmonic board on June 1st for the stated reason "to go in a different direction" and I believe the replacements hired were completely inexperienced and ill prepared to manage the Plaza. Given my history of saving the Plaza from bankruptcy and building it into one of Florida’s most respected concert venues I can only assume this was done to cut costs or worse due to personality conflicts with board members. Sadly this tragedy occurred the very first concert managed by the new staff.
I'm calling for those board members involved in making such an irresponsible decision to change the entire management without properly planning for an organized handover and transition should resign before they inflect more damage to the venue we all love and not attempt to place blame on anyone else for their poor judgment.
Colvin has started a Facebook page, Save The Plaza Live
The Plaza Live board and staff also issued a statement on their website.
Like everyone else in the community, the board and staff at the Plaza Live Venue are deeply saddened by the tragic events of Friday evening. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of those lost as well as those who witnessed and aided in the recovery after this senseless act.
We are closely working with The Orlando Police Department on this active law enforcement investigation and therefore necessarily defer specific questions to OPD's
Public Information Officer.
All activities and events at the Plaza Live Venue have been suspended until further notice. Grief counselors will be provided to the involved staff and we will be partnering with our concert promoter to support the artists and their families as appropriate.
We appreciate everyone's understanding and support during this traumatic time.