- Associated Press - Sunday, May 8, 2016

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - A Minneapolis theater has been forced to cancel a gala that was planned this month at Prince’s Paisley Park recording complex.

Organizers say they had received assurances from Paisley Park staff that Mixed Blood Theatre’s 40th anniversary gala could go on as scheduled May 14. But Mixed Blood canceled the party after the court-appointed representative of Prince’s estate told the theater it could not hold the sold-out event at Paisley Park, where the rock star died last month at age 57. Investigators are still trying to determine what caused his death.

Ticket holders were informed of the cancellation by email late Friday, the Star Tribune (https://strib.mn/1Ygw92U ) reported. About 1,000 people were expected to attend.

Mixed Blood managing director Amanda White Thietje wrote that Bremer Trust has decided to enforce a ban on all public events at Paisley Park for now.

Thietje wrote that the news “shocked and dismayed Mixed Blood’s staff and board,” and upset ticket holders.

“This all happened in the last 48 hours,” Mixed Blood artistic director Jack Reuler said Saturday. “On Friday at 2:15, the question was: Could we do a large tent on Paisley Park grounds? By 5, the answer was they didn’t want to.”

Bremer Trust said in a statement Sunday that in order to protect Prince’s legacy, it believes it’s necessary to close Paisley Park to outside events at this time.

“In addition, valuing the estate’s assets continues and opening up the property to more than 1,000 people is in direct conflict with the duty to protect and preserve the estate,” Bremer said. Bremer said it is working with charitable events that already were planned at Paisley Park to try to find alternative locations.

Mixed Blood, located in a historic firehouse on Minneapolis’ West Bank, was founded in 1976. The theater says it “pays positive attention to differences and champions access.”

Reuler said Mixed Blood will refund ticket holders’ money. The theater also will determine how much in expenses and staff time it incurred and seek compensation from Prince’s estate.

But Reuler ruled out rescheduling the gala.

“Canceling a week out is too late for a Plan B,” he said. “Will we try to do another event later? I think the answer is ‘No.’ You only have one 40th year.”


Information from: Star Tribune, https://www.startribune.com

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