Former organizer of Roxodus Music Festival believes weather not to blame for cancellation
Published Monday, July 8, 2019 8:47PM EDT Last Updated Monday, July 8, 2019 9:06PM EDT
A former co-founder of the Roxodus Music Festival believes that weather was not to blame for the cancellation of the event.
Aerosmith, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Kid Rock, and Nickelback were scheduled to headline the festival, which was slated to take place between July 11 and July 14 at Edenvale Airport in Clearview, Ont., but it was cancelled earlier this month due to “heavy rains.”
A former partner at MF LIVE Inc., the company behind Roxodus, told CTV News Barrie that the weather should not have forced the cancellation of the event.
“I was putting fence up until June 14th. In my opinion the festival grounds would’ve been ready to go,” said Mike Dunphy.
Dunphy blames the festival’s demise on lack of public interest.
“We wanted to start small initially and it grew bigger than what we thought,” he said. “I truly believe that the failure of this festival and a lot of other festivals we’re hearing about is lack of ticket sales.”
Dunphy claims that about $18 million was spent on the venue and acquiring the acts. He also said that he parted ways with his business partner Fab Loranger before Roxodus was cancelled and he was just as shocked as everyone else to find out the event would not be happening.
“I left 10 days prior to the festival being cancelled,” he said. “It was always my understanding that it was going to go forward no matter what and there were always plans that there was going to be a year two and three. This was a long-term investment.”
Meanwhile, Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) have confirmed they are investigating a former employee of MF Live Inc., though they wouldn’t say whether that investigation has anything to do with Roxodus.
“The OPP is investigating a former employee of MF Live Inc since late June,” said OPP Const. Martin Hachey. “I cannot comment on the nature of the investigation and I am not aware if the investigation has anything to do with the cancellation of the Roxodus Music Festival.”
Dunphy denied reported allegations that he signed any cheques or made any withdrawals from the festival’s coffers.
“We had the best of thoughts to make it happen and sometimes in life you can’t control things. At the end of the day, I know in my heart of hearts I didn’t take any of that money.”
“Our agreement going in was always that Fab would handle all the banking, all the contracts, all the finances.”
Dunphy also said that he has no information about an OPP investigation and has not been questioned or contacted by officers.
Those who purchased passes to the festival are expected to get refunds through the online ticket retailer Eventbrite.
Eventbrite, at the same time, said they are pursuing MF LIVE for the money and warn ticketholders that it may take some time for them to be reimbursed.
CTV News Toronto reached out to Lorenger for comment, but phone calls and emails were not returned.
With files from CTV News Barrie’s Beatrice Vaisman