It looks like Eyehategod wasn’t the only band to get shafted be a concert promoter this past weekend. Saturday’s “Rockesha” concert at the Waukesha, WI County Fairgrounds, which was to feature Firehouse, Warrant, Lita Ford, Quiet Riot and Mr. Big’s Eric Martin, got canceled after the first act played. WISN said that as road crews were setting up for the second act, “an announcement was made stating that the shows for the day had been canceled and would be rescheduled.” The festival even had That Metal Show’s Eddie Trunk booked as an emcee. He addressed the situation via a series of tweets:
To those who came out to Rockesha truly sorry about the show being cancelled. I was simply the host. Did not book it or run it at all. Sucks. Always give it to you straight so here it is; turn out was poor, promoter lost money & didn’t pay bands fully, bands leave show done… I’ve been doing this 31 years and never had anything like that happen. Unfortunate for all involved, especially those that paid & traveled. Promoter says he will make tood on all so let’s see. Again this was not my event, I am in same boat as bands. That’s all I can tell you now.
The show’s promoter, Splat Entertainment, left a lengthy but heartfelt message on its website apologizing for Saturday’s events. And one of the reasons for scrapping the show is an even more insane reason than the Eyehategod promoter’s Social Anxiety Disorder excuse. Apparently, a “business associate” that was going to give him $15,000 instead attempted to kill himself. Here’s what the promoter had to say:
First off, I want to say that Warrant, Quiet Riot, Lita Ford, Firehouse, Eric Martin, Eddie Trunk, ARM Entertainment and the Waukesha County Fairgrounds had absolutely nothing to do with this debacle on Saturday.
I as the promoter of this event am entirely responsible, nobody else had a thing to do with this. There are people that are extremely upset and I do not blame them one bit. The fact of the matter is that we did not come close to the presale or day of show ticket purchases. It is on me to make sure that the bands get the rest of their money and because the concert did not meet expectations it put me in a very tough spot. Unfortunately, I was put in a bad situation by a business associate who I never had a reason to doubt as we had past dealings. On June 6th, this person was to meet me at a local fast food restaurant in Lake Country to hand deliver a cashiers check for $15,000.00. As I waited for over 3 hours with excuse after excuse from him, I realized this was not going to happen. I made a call to the police department in his area to press charges, later that night I received a call from someone claiming to be his father and telling me that this gentleman tried to take his own life, skeptical, I stayed on my path with the police. The officer actually called me back to verify that his father was indeed telling the truth. This so called “friend” of mine is currently sitting in a mental institution in the Madison area. I have friends that can verify this not to mention countless emails and texts.
At that point, I really only had 2 options, first was cancelling or rescheduling the show 2 weeks ago, that was not really a great option since I would lose over $41,750.00 in deposits already paid to the bands, stage, fairgrounds, etc. THESE WERE THINGS ALREADY PAID! The other option was to press forward and have the show and pray that we had a good walk up crowd. Well, 47 paid patrons the day of show killed any effort. I think a combination of things like weather, other parties played a part but once again, still my responsibility. We had a total of about 1,200 people there on Saturday via VIP and general admission, of those, the radio stations gave away roughly 500 tickets and VIP’s, sponsors also received tickets and VIP passes.
I have seen or heard a lot of things posted here, the fact is since January 1st, 2014 until the day of the show, we had just over $25,000.00 in paid tickets via Paypal, Groupon and in person cash, we also collected about $4,800 in sponsorships, both low. But we kept moving forward because everyone told me this state will wait until the last minute to purchase tickets, that was our hope, didn’t happen. So to those posting that there is “hundreds of thousands” unaccounted for, that is not the case. We spent almost $12,000.00 in advertising via 3 radio stations, paid prints, facebook boosts, etc. All of this information is verifiable.
What I need to do now is come up with a plan to start reimbursing all of the fans who had their weekends ruined over this. Nobody feels worse than I do, my heart aches for everyone, I had people that flew in for this and this fell apart, I will never be able to apologize enough. I will be pursuing legal action against my “friend” as I am sure a few of you are planning the same on me. For those out there posting that this was fraud, that is not the case. All we wanted to do was put together a great concert so all of you could have a great time.
I will do everything in my power to make this right but please bare with me as I figure this out and come up with a plan.
Rob/Splat Entertainment LLC
The whole thing is unfortunate, especially for the fans that traveled, and the bands that got to watch 47 paid walkups the day of the show. Maybe they should have realized that ’80s rockers don’t quite have the draw that they used to.