For anyone who has been keeping up with the Force Field Project, detailed in this week’s Philadelphia Weekly cover story — whether you clicked “like” or “attending” on their Facebook pages, bought tickets in advance to this weekend’s rare treat of an art show, or simply planned to swing by and check it out — you may have heard that, as of last night, everything has changed.

The Force Field organizers emailed supporters last night and this morning: “We regret to inform you that this weekend’s event will not go forward as planned. Due to unforeseen safety issues in our building, we will move the concert to a new venue and postpone the art component of the project while we seek an alternative.”

Tonight’s Force Field Project concert will now take place, featuring the same DataGarden musical lineup as planned, from 7:30 until late-night at the IceBox Project Space at the Crane Arts building (1400 N. American Street). There will be food trucks and they will be serving Neshaminy Creek Beer. Tickets are for sale on TicketLeap and at the door ($12 and $15 respectively). All tickets already purchased, including support given on Indiegogo, will be honored at both the concert tonight and the to-be-rescheduled art event.

There will be a small representation of the art portion of the event at the concert — whatever is most mobile, the organizers say — and most of the artists involved in the week-long installation at the Jo-Mar buildings will be in attendance.

So, what happened? After a visit yesterday from the Philadelphia Department of Licenses and Inspections, the Jo-Mar warehouses have been issued a stop-work order for being in violation of the city’s building, electrical, plumbing and zoning codes. Shift Capital did not have a certificate of occupancy for these buildings, so any occupancy after 5 p.m. today is illegal.

After spending a week busily installing their detailed, meticulous and at-times massive artworks, all performers and artists involved were surprised yesterday to discover they must now gather their belongings — and artwork — and vacate the premises in less time than it took to install (in most cases). They are working together to help each other through this hectic time and to document, through photographs and video, whatever they can before everything must go. Some of the photographs, such as the one in this morning’s email, are gorgeous.

Taking a step back from this weekend’s event for a moment, this also means that any tenants who have rented space in the building for creating artwork or for housing their business during the past year must leave.

Organizers Tim Eads and Joe Bartram are already pushing forward with a few leads on new locations for the art portion of the event, possibly to be rescheduled within the month. Eads says, “Although we don’t have details, we would like this to happen in the near future.” They ask people to watch their website, emails and Facebook page for updates in the coming weeks.

Eads remains upbeat, reiterating that MaKen Studios “has been more than accommodating throughout this process” and “we want to stay focused on the positive.”

From Force Field: “We always knew the building was in transition. MaKen was clear from the start that the space we were using was undeveloped and that’s a big part of what drew us to it. Between the outdoor space on the property, the vast size of the buildings, and our plan to keep to the limits of legal assembly, no one anticipated that it wouldn’t be permitted to show the work at all.”

From Brian Murray with Shift Capital: “Our team put our hearts and soul in helping the Force Field event come to life. We were devastated by the decision to shut down the event and our building. Unfortunately, the City decided that the building was unfit to host the event and decided to take aggressive action. We must respect the decision and will work closely with the City to rectify the situation for our tenants and community.

“Bringing back an abandoned industrial building in a neglected part of the city is an incredible challenge. Preparing for an event like Force Field added to the complexity.

“While we will continue to support the Force Field event as they move forward, our focus now is to our tenants and our community. Despite this setback, we strongly believe in our vision to strengthen the community through our project and will continue to pursue this vision by working with great people such as Tim, Joe and the team behind the event.”

All existing tickets now serve as both your entry to tonight’s concert and your “rain check” for the future incarnation of the art portion of Force Field. The Force Field organizers will keep their attendance lists from Indiegogo and TicketLeap and send notice as soon as they have confirmed information about the future plans.

If you have a question about refunds, they are telling ticket holders to contact Jessica Richards (jrichards@cultureworksphila.org) next week for further info or convert your ticket to a charitable donation. — SEAN CORBETT

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