“I tried to tell everyone, but all the rockers who had invested money took his side and not my side.”
— Lisa Sundae was an early Investor into Farm Rock who spoke to Metal Sludge back in 2016
“Freddy fucked over a whole bunch of people, me included, and now is on the run, hiding from everyone looking for him.”
— Eddie Trunk from an extensive 2016 online rant about Freddy Stahmer of Farm Rock
“I think he’s a con artist. The way that it worked, you’d put in an initial investment, and then whatever the show does, so say that I put in $10,000 and the show does 20%. So I make two-grand. And then I rolled that money back in.”
— Madison Hill an investor who spoke out in 2017 and alleges she lost $45,000.00 to Freddy Stahmer
Metal Sludge — This was a long time coming, but after nearly a decade in the making Farm Rock promoter Frederick John Stahmer has pleaded guilty in court.
Stahmer, 56, who is best known by his nickname Freddy to many in the music industry was accused by investors and fans as far back as 2014 of some very unscrupulous behavior.
Now nearly 10 years later, the chickens have come home to roost.
Stahmer‘s company, Frederick Entertainment promoted concerts mainly featuring 80’s hard rock, heavy metal and hairbands going back to 2011, but the bulk of the shows were held between 2013 and 2016.
In short, several individuals started stating that Stahmer had “ripped them off” and it soon came to light that it was for large sums of money.
When the first accusations started to circulate, many turned a blind-eye to the few who decided to stand up and speak out.
An investor named Lisa Sundae was one of the first to speak out and loudly at that, but many in the community doubted her and unfortunately she endured harassment and more from those who continued to support Stahmer.
“I tried to tell everyone, but all the rockers who had invested money took his side and not my side,” Sundae said in our 2016 Metal Sludge article FRAUD ROCK … Popular Farm Rock promoter Freddy Stahmer being sued and chased by FBI.
Of course Metal Sludge did not mince words (see our related articles all linked below) when the true reality of this Stahmer character’s ways began to come to light.
The Farm Rock saga seemed to mirror parts of the Rock N’ Skull drama in a similar fashion that was taking place around the same time.
For those who recall our articles about Rock N’ Skull… Metal Sludge did not hold back, even though we faced push back just like Lisa Sundae did in her choosing to speak out, which for the record, all of which Sundae and Sludge stated proved to be truthful and fact based.
I will stand up right here and boldly state, this Stahmer guy is a huge shit bag!
While others will hold their tongue, and approach it in a more delicate manner, not me.
Nope, much-like the recent Blue-Ridge Festival debacle, and our online hero Tank The Tech said in his recent vlog; “Someone needs to be held accountable!”
Tank also stated, that it was a bit ‘taboo‘”‘ to talk ill of someone in the industry publicly, when still working amongst the bands, promoters and more.
But like Tank, I don’t give a Fuck what anyone thinks of me, or my website… especially when my output is for the good of all involved.
Even though different circumstances, Blue Ridge was kind of Fire-Fest ish if you will… but I digress.
Stahmer is now likely going to be sentenced to prison, and many of those rockers who were closest with him won’t say a word, and have quickly forgotten that they rode his dick even when it was known he was not flying straight.
All the while Stahmer was shucking and jiving, and people were getting scammed out of their life savings, some of those chose to still pal around with the slippery fan-boy promoter, and likely some of that investor’s fraudulently acquired money, were paying for their after-party, dinners and more.
Even when his shows were essentially bombing, Stahmer was often up-beat backstage, drinking with bands, and posing for photos with fans.
Eddie Trunk seemed to agree that the events weren’t exactly a hit when he wrote: “I’ve hosted a few of his events over the last few years. None were very well attended that I was at.”
What’s most crazy about this story, is that the very people who got burned, were people who were essentially friends with Freddy.
He wasn’t borrowing money from complete strangers, no… it was a friend of a friend, who was a rock fan, wanted to be with the ‘in-crowd’, hang backstage and feel important.
“I knew trouble was in store when Freddy called a few months before the event looking for people to invest money with him in Farm Rock. It’s never a good sign when a promoter has bands and shows booked but is still looking for money to cover his costs.” wrote Trunk.
It’s safe to say that Stahmer was desperate at some point, and it didn’t matter where the money came from, and people working close to him felt pressured to help the guy out, but little did they know, they were helping cut their own throats, and the throats of their friends the same.
More from Trunk: “When Saturday rolled around Freddy had disappeared. Yes that’s right, gone on the biggest day of the festival! Most bands will not take the stage before being paid in full for most events. So Saturday of Streets Gone Wild almost didn’t happen. But the show was bailed out by some of his partners who he enlisted to work for him. They gathered enough money up to make sure the bands played and people had a show. Freddy claimed he was in the hospital with a heart issue.”
Can you imagine, these sorry son of a bitches were scrambling to pay the bands when Freddy disappeared, day of show… and using their own personal money, from savings and ATM cash.
If someone steals $500 bucks from you, well, that is a bad person with low morals and doesn’t deserve your friendship nor respect.
Fair to say?
How about if someone stole $5,000.00 from you, how would that make you feel?
Would you consider them a common thief or worse?
How about $10,000.00?
Or… maybe $45,000.00?
All of this happened, over and over again…
Think about it this way…
We watch the news, and see a group of thugs steal thousands of dollars worth of merchandise and run out of the store… then everyone is shouting at their T.V., “Is someone going to do something?”
Now, forget the criminals on T.V. for a minute, or the clips you’ve seen on social media of the hooligans running out of a Nordstrom Rack with $25k in handbags or watches.
How about the thug CEO from Farm Rock, who is stealing thirty grand from your friend.
What are your thoughts on him?
Now… imagine this, someone stealing $275,000.00 from you.
The complete value of your home, that you may have worked decades to pay for.
All to finance a whirl-wind weekend with >insert your favorite not all original member rock bands here<.
This man has been accused of (and now convicted in court) ripping off several people, for insane amounts of money.
The FBI indictment says over $1,000,000.00…. so simply put, this Freddy Stahmer guy is a huge piece of garbage who will at some point go to prison… but not for long enough.
Stahmer was doing smash n’ grabs, without the hammer or a mask on…
Instead, he was shaking hands, yucking it up and handing investors their All Access laminates at his shows that in the end, they ultimately financed.
For a few weekends in the summer… the background tracks played and balding rockers wearing whatever you call that on their heads strutted around awaiting their set-time… meanwhile all the investor types were thrilled to be side-stage and waiting for the headliner to arrive.
But, most had no clue of the true evil that was lurking.
Of course, Freddy was planning to launch all these mega rock concerts, and everyone would make their money back and then-some… right… we honestly believe there was no ill will with his original intentions.
But… like those famous or infamous Wall Street guys, what if…
What if… the concert flops?
What if he takes your money, in hopes of a huge gate, and intends to pay you back, but then things don’t work out.
Like many of them appeared to have done just that… and the money invested, did not come back in full.
Or even close.
And in the end, several people, many of whom are listed in the FBI‘s indictment, listed as Victim #1, Victim #2, and so on… all were left empty handed.
It’s safe to say that there were monies misappropriated, spent on unknown artists, and there were dinners with lower than D-listers all smiling hanging on as they get their fancy hotel room keys, and everyone drank and partied the night away.
Then everyone lined up backstage for selfies with >insert no-name scab artist here< and so on, and so on…
But in the end, all of the rock stars went home, while the investors, in most cases were left to ask; “Where is my cut?”
And, “Where is Freddy?”
Around this time, is when Freddy had already had disappeared or ironically had a medical episode.
You get the picture.
Whenever anything like this happens, in our industry, I will be up front to share the news, the truth, and make sure to put them on blast, big time.
Because no fan, no band, no person and no partner or business associate should be wronged like this.
But sadly, it’s happened time and time again… to the very supporters of our little fading 80’s industry.
Rock Gone Wild in 2009, we blew the whistle first and the Iowa based festival imploded soon after.
They threatened to sue me… they didn’t… as they were full of shit too and their event never happened.
Rock Harvest in 2013, that was held in Maryland, we exposed that guy too, so much so that ABC2 News got involved.
Rock N’ Skull, in 2017, we exposed all right here on Metal Sludge.
RIP Justin Murr, I still have the voice mails of him threatening to sue me… and for what?
Telling the truth?
Gabe Reed, Investors Beware, was covered here on Metal Sludge in 2017.
Reed already did his prison time… Google if you don’t know.
Love N’ Revenge singer Damon Kelly, accused con-man, we broke that story too in 2019.
Kelly is a scum bag… hiding in Canada somewhere… or maybe back in the U.S. again.
Melodic Rock Fest (fail) in Australia back in 2020, Andrew McNeice was involved and we covered all of it here on Metal Sludge.
Some of the same partners who dropped the ball on that 2020 Down Under event, also just fumbled the Donnie Vie shows and tour from earlier in 2023, and the Winger tour too just last month.
Metal Sludge covered both of those as well, and predicted exactly what would happen, to the letter.
Both of those, for the record, are No Fault of Donnie Vie or Winger, it’s 100% on the promoter.
And there were others, some big, some small, some faded away and some are still hanging around.
In almost all of these cases, fans lost money, lots of money, were sold a bill of goods that didn’t come to fruition, or even close, and the ole’ “Due to circumstances beyond our control” excuse was used often.
Of course all of these are not exactly Freddy Stahmer, or the Farm Rock story, but there have been events, festivals and promoters, along with some musicians, who have not always been entirely honest with their fan-base.
For what it’s worth… I guess we’re the local narcs, call me a snitch or a rat… oh well… I don’t really care but someone has to do it.
Now back to the Scammer, I mean, Stahmer…
Several of these bands, continued to work with Stahmer so they could appear and play at the Farm Rock series of concerts that took place in Illinois, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Georgia and Arizona.
At some point Stahmer even claimed he had a medical condition which some felt was manufactured or exaggerated to use as an excuse to avoid communicating with his investors when things were going south.
Then when the event really flopped, Stahmer suddenly disappeared, bands, vendors and the related all were left wondering and not paid… then the next day a photo appeared on Facebook, in a hospital bed… like the one shared in our article above.
In 2017 after the real shit started hitting the fan a local Tucson investigative News crew went to the home of Stahmer‘s parents, where he was alleged to have been living, or better yet, hiding out.
The crew reported: “We went to the Oro Valley home where the 49-year-old Stahmer lives with his parents. Freddy didn’t answer the door but called us minutes later. He declined an interview; he said he’s having heart problems, that a photo of him on social media was taken during a recent hospital stay.” He later emailed a statement to the News 4 Tucson Investigators“
Over time as the cracks began to really widen, and soon 1 or 2 loud-mouth fans who “got taken” (their words) for $5,000.00 or $10,000.00 ultimately became a much larger number of people and the money amounts went up.
How far up?
As in, $30k, $40k, $50k and one group of investors ponied up collectively $275,000.00.
KVOA News out of Tucson covered this story in 2017 writing: “Stahmer and his company are under investigation by the FBI and being sued for fraud by five former investors. The lawsuit filed in Pima Co. Superior Court claims they gave Stahmer $275,000 towards the costs of several concerts. In return, Stahmer was supposed to pay back their investments plus dividends, often 10%. The suit claims, among other things, that when Stahmer sent investors a check for $100,000, it bounced.”
Freddy bounced a $100,000.00 check?
Eddie Trunk also alleges Stahmer bounced a check on him writing in his rant: “He told me the check would be good this past Wednesday. The check is not good. Many vendors and people that worked this event were also ripped off and not paid. Sponsors, vendors, artists.”
There were multiple accusations from different people from all over the U.S. who all claim that they invested, borrowed or gave Stahmer $10,000.00, $20,000.00 and as much as $50,000.00 or more to help back his Farm Rock concert series.
However, like any Ponzi scheme, the pieces started to collapse and the walls started to cave in.
All the while, many still ignored the online blasts from a few brave individuals who pleaded with the bands, the fans and anyone who would listen, to stay away and that Freddy was a con-man.
Not only did Stahmer screw over many of his investors, but bands at select events got shorted as did others who were hired to appears at the various concerts.
Trunk himself wrote a great and in-depth article titled ‘FARM ROCK CONCERT SERIES AND THE SHITTY SIDE OF THE MUSIC BIZ’ on his website back in September of 2016.
If you feel as though that Metal Sludge might be biased, feel free to go read Eddie Trunk‘s full article, and you will see another man’s perspective, it’s very eye opening and not a good look for Stahmer.
Bravo to Trunk for speaking out when he did, and not holding back, as too many in our circle often step lightly when this stuff happens, as nobody wants to be in the fray.
More from KVOA: “I think he’s a con artist” said Madison Hill.
Hill claims she lost $45,000 to Stahmer. The 27-year old former Tucson resident says she was turned on to the concert investment deal by a mutual acquaintance. “The way that it worked,” Hill said, “you’d put in an initial investment, and then whatever the show does, so say that I put in $10,000 and the show does 20%. So I make two-grand. And then I rolled that money back in.”
By the spring of 2021 after several years of research, the FBI had indicted Stahmer for the alleged fraud of more than $1,000,000.00 that he had bilked from various investors.
Now, the long and winding legal process, which also included a series of delays and an extended pause due to Covid, in addition the unfortunate passing of a few of the victims according to court records, the end is now near for Stahmer‘s freedom.
On Wednesday September 13th 2023, Stahmer officially pled guilty to ‘wire fraud‘ and he has now avoided the December 2023 trial that was set before he copped the plea deal.
Once we are aware of an actual sentencing date, we will be sure to share it when available.
Below are a few documents, screen captured and shared here on Metal Sludge.
Metal Sludge has also shared articles (noted below) from over the years detailing some of what has taken place regarding Freddy Stahmer and Frederick Entertainment.
April 29th 2021 > FBI INDICTED >UPDATED< Farm Rock promoter Freddy Stahmer Indicted by the FBI for Alleged Fraud costing his Investors in excess of $1,000,000.00
March 20th 2017 > ROCK N’ SCAM … Concert promoter investigated by FBI, lawsuit filed and multiple investors fleeced
Sept. 23rd 2016 > FRAUD ROCK … Popular Farm Rock promoter Freddy Stahmer being sued and chased by FBI
If you want to go see these bands, and support these festivals, then great, and make sure to do just that.
There are many great ones, who have a proven track record like the M3 Music Festival, Rocktember, Rocklahoma, in recent years Rok Island and the on-going Monsters of Rock Cruises.
All of these and some others, have continued to put on great events, that the fans and artists can all walk away from feeling fulfilled and happy after attending.
There are some smaller ones too, that continue to build and across the board, both in the U.S., in Europe and in other various countries… there are many good ones, but to all the fans, and the related… where there is smoke, there is fire.
It’s been proven for years, that often these events that the (negative) rumors start flying around about, often those tidbits that start to leak are in fact the truth… and nobody wants to see anyone spend $2,500.00 to watch BullitGuyz headline a festival with 150 fans drinking warm beer standing in the mud.
Stay tuned to Metal Sludge for Breaking News, Updates and Features along with both new and classic interviews.
Thank you for reading, Stevie Rachelle