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World Series of Rock

World Series of Rock

For many years, the arrival of summer in the CLE meant another round of the legacy concert/entertainment event. The World Series of Rock was a recurring, day-long multi-act summer concert series held at Cleveland Stadium from 1974 through 1980. Belkin Productions staged these events, attracting popular bands and as many as 88,000 fans. FM rock radio station WMMS sponsored the concerts and attendance was by general admission

Being the home of the Indians, Belkin could only schedule stadium concerts for dates when the Indians were playing out of town. Stadium officials allowed seating on the playing field, which required fixing the turf before the Indians returned home. The fourth concert of 1975 was followed by heavy rain the next day, leaving the field in poor condition for the remainder of the season. Following the 1975 football season, groundskeepers completely resurfaced the field, and installed a drainage system, to repair damage from the rock concerts. The first concert of 1976 was scheduled for July 11 with Aerosmith, Todd Rundgren’s Utopia, Jeff Beck (with the Jan Hammer Group) and Derringer. However, the concert was canceled after stadium officials refused to allow seating on the field to prevent damage to the new turf and Aerosmith would not play without fans on the field. No concerts took place at Cleveland Stadium in 1976 but Belkin resumed the series in 1977 after stadium groundskeepers employed a field-covering system consisting of plywood and outdoor carpeting.

The third concert of the 1978 season, featuring Fleetwood Mac, originally scheduled for August 5, had to be canceled at the last minute due to a sudden illness suffered by Lindsey Buckingham. The rest of the band, Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, Christine McVie and Stevie Nicks, flew to Cleveland to hold a press conference to explain the cancellation. The concert was rescheduled for August 26, forcing the cancellation of the fourth World Series of Rock featuring Bob Seager and the Silver Bullet Band, Todd Rundgren and Utopia, Blue Oyster Cult and the Cars that was originally scheduled for that date.

The next concert featuring Foreigner, Kansas, the Cars, the Tubes, David Johansen and Breathless was originally slated for Sunday, August 19, 1979. At the request of city officials, the concert was rescheduled to Saturday night at 8:00 pm for security reasons, but after receiving many complaints from parents about the late ending time, Belkin canceled the concert. Afterwards, the Stadium Corporation declared there would be no more World Series of Rock concerts held at the stadium, ending a Cleveland legendary event.

One final World Series of Rock concert, headlined by Bob Seger, took place on July 19, 1980. The ticket price was $12.50 (equivalent to $37 today).

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