Had everything gone according to plan, tens of thousands of people would be talking about the great time they had at the first-ever Roxodus Music Festival this past weekend.
People would have been posting pictures and video of Aerosmith, Kid Rock, Peter Frampton, Nickelback, Matt Good, Big Wreck and a dozen other acts. They’d have anecdotes and stories about the goings-on in the campground. Some would have talked about how much alcohol was consumed.
Citing soggy conditions at the venue (a story few people bought), the festival was officially canceled on July 3, eight days before the gates were to open. Seconds later, the blame game began. What went wrong? Who was responsible? Would anyone get refunds?
Let’s work backward. If you bought tickets through Eventbrite, you should be seeing a refund any second now if you haven’t already. They created a Fan Relief Fund so Roxodus customers could be made whole while Eventbrite tracked down promoters MF Live.
What went wrong? All the digging I’ve done over the last couple of weeks point to financial issues. Too many expenses, not enough ticket sales.
And finally, who’s to blame? It’ll take a while to sort that one out. Mike Dunphy (the “M” in “MF Live”) parted ways with the festival on June 21, so he had no say in the cancellation. And having had a look at the Roxodus banking records myself, he had nothing to do with the financials other than working to sell tickets. Fab Laranger (the “L”) was the money guy, who financed everything with the help of his Alberta-based oil and gas company. He ultimately made the call to shut it all down.
Today we heard that MF Live filed for bankruptcy on Friday, July 12.
Accounting firm Grant Thornton LLP, which has been called in to sort things out, MF Live had assets of $154,075 and liabilities of $18,261,874.10. Nearly 200 creditors are listed as having outstanding debts. The documents were signed by Laranger.
To take a look at Grant Thornton documents regarding the bankruptcy, go here. The first meeting of creditors will happen July 30. (Note that if you got a refund from Eventbrite, you’re not considered a creditor. Makes sense, right?)
UPDATE: The cancelation and confusion surrounding the festival, Clearview Township, the site of the event, held a council meeting to determine what its legal options are. The town is listed as a creditor, having been stiffed. $6,725.53. A civil lawsuit may be needed to recoup that money.
The lawyers and accountants are gonna have fun with this one.
More at CollingwoodToday.ca.