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As you can see, Roxodus had a pretty big-name lineup. But big-name artists usually demand big-time fees — upfront — and that can immediately put a venue or festival into the red.
Reportedly, Eventbrite advanced the festival millions of dollars based on the sales of tickets and then issued $3.8 million in refunds to ticket buyers after the festival collapsed. They are suing festival organizers Michael Dunphy and Fab Loranger of MF Live for $4.1 million in a pair of lawsuits.
Both lawsuits were filed in a U.S. District Court in San Francisco, and the men have until Thursday (i.e., October 10th) to formally answer the suits in court.
Interestingly, lawyers for Eventbrite called Roxodus the “Canadian version” of the infamous Fyre Festival, only with lower production values. Thankfully for Eventbrite, the ticketing company wasn’t involved in anything Fyre-related — though if they were, attendees might have gotten actual refunds.
The festival bill included names like Nickelback, Lynryd Skynyrd, Kid Rock, Aerosmith, Alice Cooper, Billy Idol, and Blondie.
However, on July 3rd, the festival was canceled. According to Eventbrite, Loranger and Dunphy kept coming up with different reasons for the cancelation, including bad weather and issues with talent. At one point, they even allegedly blamed each other.
Altogether, people spent $4.3 million on the festival through Eventbrite’s website. This included tickets, parking passes and accommodations. Adam Cashman, the attorney representing Eventbrite, says that the two organizers have yet to return any of this money, as required by both the contract they signed with Eventbrite and “governing law.”
Amazingly, while Loranger and Dunphy had no experience in concert promotion, they were able to book an impressive lineup of bands. They also booked celebrity chefs as well. But they never got proper permits for the festival or completed construction for it, and the only road to the location could not handle the necessary traffic.