Laconiafest Motorcycle Music Festival implodes on final days
New Hampshire — Local TV station WMUR news 9 is reporting that the final days of Laconiafest has been a rough go and Saturday is likely cancelled.
The station is also reporting that a half-dozen bands cancelled their performance on Friday June 17th and that the promoters of the event “left yesterday (Thursday).”
The Laconia Daily Sun wrote an article a few days ago that in part said; “Attendance, expected to number in the thousands, rarely reached 200 and Tuesday afternoon, as a woman sang to the accompaniment of a lone guitar, her audience could be counted on the fingers of two hands. A handful of men hung over the rail from the otherwise empty V.I.P. Tower in front of the main stage. Vendors offering food and drink passed the time sunning behind vacant bars. A lone couple at the foot of the stage (photo at inset) embraced and swayed as the music played.”
Now it appears that Saturday’s show featuring headliner Sevendust, P.O.D. and Dope has been officially scratched in the 11th hour.
“It’s been like this since it began,” said one member of the venue staff, waving a hand at the barren expanse of asphalt.
The event’s official facebook was posting messages on June 15th that hyped the day saying stuff like; “It’s filling up fast.”
One fan replied on the event’s posting writing, “Its not filing up, stop lying lol.”
Amidst rumors that the event was in trouble the promoters continued to push that all was fine on June 16th with a posting that read; “You heard rumors all day that we were cancelled, shut down and not doing any more shows. As you can see we’re Rockin’ it! Warrant is plating now and Bret Michaels takes the stage at 9:30! Ted Nugent tomorrow night! Rock n Roll!”
By the Friday (June 17th) things turned worse and several local and regional bands were getting cut from the show.
Metal Sludge was contacted by 2 of the artists on the bill but they have asked to remain anonymous.
The singer of one group said; “Laconia fest / bands canceling left and right / promoters ran off with the money / Sevendust / Dope cancels.”
The anonymous singer added; “It’s a mess.”
Several sources are alleging the promoter or promoters took money and left.
Another member of one this week’s headline acts tells Metal Sludge exclusively; “Yesterday was awful.”
The headliner member alleges the following; “6 promoters, 3 took 500 grand in cash and ran on wed night. Took the keys to the runners’ vans. Cancelled Lita Ford’s bands rooms. Didn’t pay the security or production company.”
The reports are that by Thursday one of the stages was being dismantled with several bands already at the venue and ready to play.
Phil Lewis posted on his official facebook when a fan complained that L.A. Guns only played 4 songs for their Thursday appearance at Laconiafest; “The whole event went tits up hours before we hit the stage at one point we didnt even have a van to get us the 60 miles from hotel to the venue.”
The band Enemy Remains posted on their facebook that the promoter ran off with $300,000.00.
Now as of Saturday morning Laconiafest seems to have owned up to the ‘rumor’ that they were indeed in trouble.
The statement is posted below but in short says; “We deeply regret to inform ticketholders for today Saturday, June 18th, that we will be unable to continue the shows that were scheduled today.”
The statement continues with; “Despite news reports, we do not know what happened other than we had reports that The City of Laconia would shut down the venue in the absence of Law Enforcement and Fire Department officuals to oversee safety at the festival.”
This was the inaugural year for Laconiafest in Laconia New Hampshire.
Shows starting last weekend ran all week long through last night and featured headlining acts such as; Steven Tyler, Bret Michaels, Sebastian Bach, Buckcherry and Ted Nugent.