Conditions at Iron Horse spur complaint from musician Vanessa Carlton

  • —Vanessa Carlton

Published: 3/9/2017 12:34:15 AM

NORTHAMPTON — Conditions during a Vanessa Carlton show stirred up another social media storm against Iron Horse Entertainment Group on Wednesday, as the national act took to Twitter to decry the company’s treatment of musicians.

“Thank you to the audience member who loaned me her fingerless gloves,” Carlton tweeted on Wednesday. “It was freezing on stage at IHEG and they wouldn’t turn the heat up.”

Katie O’Connor of Worcester, the concertgoer who loaned her gloves, said in a message that Carlton “kept blowing into her hands” before she ended up passing them forward.

Carlton also posted a photo of slumping, deteriorating furniture in the green room at the Iron Horse, calling it “infamously bad” and an insult to artists.

“Ew!” IHEG’s Twitter account responded. “It’s on our list to do but with four other venues that list is pretty long! We’ll definitely bump it up now!”

In August, hundreds took to social media — as well as state and local officials — to complain about what they called dangerously high temperatures during a Baroness show at Pearl Street, another IHEG venue.

“Thank you guys for sticking it through one of the most intensely hot and demanding Baroness sets ever,” the band wrote on Instagram following the show. “You’re hard as nails for doings so. We hope to see you soon, somewhere colder, and with more available oxygen.”

Contacted Wednesday, Eric Suher, owner of IHEG, denied Carlton’s accusations.

“Much of what you are reading on social media is false,” Suher wrote in an email. “The performer was cold on the stage. The venue temp was 70 degrees.”

Carlton, a pianist and singer who gained fame with her debut single “A Thousand Miles” in 2002, was encouraged when local musicians joined the online chorus and she suggested an organized boycott against the company’s venues until things improve. Some said another big-name act, Kaki King, also had a bad experience at the venue and Carlton reached out to her on Twitter to get the ball rolling.

“Many of my musician friends and I hope that IHEG does the upgrades they need to so that we may return!” she wrote.

In a message to the Gazette Carlton said that for touring musicians, every venue is like a piece of home.

“Many of us are not from Northampton, but when you tour every town becomes your town and every venue is where you work,” she said.

Amanda Drane can be contacted at

Daily Hampshire Gazette Office

115 Conz Street
Northampton, MA 01061


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