Metal Sludge

Metal Sludge

MELODIC ROCK FAIL … MRF Festival & Promoters short change fans while FireHouse stays home & makes bank


Metal Sludge — We have covered this Melodic Rock Fest story for the last week and it seems to be getting much worse for all involved.

Well, except for the band FireHouse that is.

How so you may ask… well… if the insider tips are accurate, along with the festival’s founder and guru Andrew McNeice, than yea, FireHouse made out like fat rats.

To review, last week Metal Sludge posted a story titled “Uh-Oh” Melodic Rock Festival loses several artists a week out from event” .

Then to follow that up a few days later, Metal Sludge also posted a second story titled “FANS ANGRY … Melodic Rock Fest is in a Downward Spiral as Headliner FireHouse, XYZ, Tony Harnell and The National Theatre venue all Pull The Plug“.

Now, the proverbial sh!t is hitting the fan.

And of course, like usual, we’re first in line to throw it.

Especially when there are shady dealings, and fans who are getting hijacked for huge sums of money to attend these over-the-top fantasy weekends.

And it’s all been done before, and it’s all failed before as well.

Of course there have been some events that have had success, but some of the same events who previously were triumphant in their final product, at some point bite off more than they can chew, and then the fans get bit worse.

In short, the promoters, or those pulling the strings, get greedy.

Plain and simple.

Well, it looks like this year, Melodic Rock Fest is that festival.

See 25 bands, meet the stars, acoustic story teller performances, pre-party with insert >random 80’s guy and virtually unknown artist here< and a whole grip of other promotions to try and sell you their $500.00 weekend ticket.

But then, when you least expect it, things go sideways.

This event went more sideways and more upside down than Ryan Newman‘s car did last month at the Daytona 500.

Google that if you’re not a NASCAR fan, but be warned, it’s pretty bad.

Anyway….back to the Melodic Rock Fail.

Now after a week of cancellations, the loss of venue, a 3-day event being shortened to Saturday only and a dozen National Acts being reduced to a mere handful, the fans are speaking out… and so is Metal Sludge.

I myself, have taken a strong stance against these types before, and could not help myself, and sitting silent would be as big of a crime as the near criminal act being committed by the clowns putting on this event.

Yes, it was I, the big mean Metal Sludge guy, who also for the record, blew the whistle on Rock Gone Wild in 2009, Rock Harvest in 2012, Rock N’ Skull in 2017, and also covered Freddy Stahmer and Farm Rock when he was being sued and pursued by the F.B.I., Gabe Reed‘s promoter, investor fraudulent doings and more.

For those who don’t know, Gabe Reed is currently serving a lengthy prison sentence for his actions.

As for the others, well, let’s just say that they all found themselves in some hot water to put it lightly.

All of these promoters, tried to bully me, when I spoke out, hinted at coming after me with legal action and that their event was fine, posting updates “Don’t believe the rumors…” and “He’s jealous his band isn’t on the bill..” and a host of other hogwash.

Sadly, some of their delusional followers, fans and investors too, all tried to stand behind these people.

In the end, with ALL of them… Metal Sludge was right.

Not kind of or half right, nope, we were 100% right.

Spot on, with all of our stories and in the end, it all came crashing down.

Fans lost money, investors lost more, and these type of events are criminal when these things happen.


Not likely, won’t happen, doesn’t happen, as there are always the “rain or shine” type of loop holes in their advertisement.

So I finally spoke out about Melodic Rock Fest...but only on Facebook.


Well, I am kind of busy this week playing in Brazil…but I have found the time to type this out to be even more clear about what, why, where, how and who is involved in this latest festival fail!

Andrew McNeice, who is the Melodic founder, CEO, Label head, and the guy who also started this festival and has ran every single event from inception… decided to simply reply to me by saying: “Stevie is looking for clicks…


On Facebook?

No… but now that you mentioned it Mr. McNeice, I will post it all here, on my site for the clicks.

This below, is what I have ranted on about and posted on Facebook in the official Melodic Rock Fest group, to inform fans of what is really going on.

And I have done so, as Andrew McNeice, is now trying to distance himself from this colossal failure of an event, claiming he’s “not involved” and he sold the rights to some “investors” or “partners”.

This is essentially only partially true.

From my knowledge, which much of this knowledge, comes from McNeice himself, is that he is absolutely involved.

His words.

Heavily involved, and writing me directly last July 31st 2019: “this event definately reflects my name and my brand and I am very much involved.”

McNeice then adds: “Just don’t have any inerest in finacing it.”

In short, it’s Andrew McNeice and some investor(s) money, but McNeice is still pulling strings, making decisions and playing liason to all artists, bands, agents, and more.

Also, ALL his words.

“I have a say in and I’m helping book, etc…but not organizing or financing.” Andrew McNeice 2019

However McNeice does admit to me, and say that he no longer wanted to handle the full burden of the financial end of such an event any longer.

Great…all good.

Similarly, a few years back, Justin Murr and his annual event Rock N’ Skull, started out slow, grew to have some great events, but sadly went sideways when greed and mismanagement left the event in shambles.

Murr like McNeice here, didn’t want to finance all himself, so he took on investors, or partners (with money) who were for the most part, delusional fans with a credit limit, or a 401K (God help these idiots) and several of these people coughed up huge sums of money to finance that Rock N’ Skull at the Avante Dome that imploded like no other before.

Silly fans, trying their place as “investors” offering up $5,000.00, $10,000.00 and so on, to put down big deposits to secure Ace Frehley, Steel Panther and send agents like those at ARM a chunk of money to contract several of their bands, ie: Warrant, Lita Ford, FireHouse, Dokken, and so on.

In the end…none of those bands played Rock N’ Skull, and the Avanti Dome venue also pulled the plug late in the game as well.

Then, all those big deposit dollars were lost in the end.

Those fanboy and fangirl investors got owned.

Fast forward from that, to this week and Melodic Rock Fail 2020.

A very similar scenario has happened.

McNeice brought in some investors, and according to him, they agreed to pay FireHouse a deposit of $ 25,000.00 U.S. Dollars.

Which is only half of their pay, as most agents require a 50% deposit to book and announce their artist.

Now when the event started showing bad signs of what was inevitable, our guess is that the FireHouse agent (ARM), requested the balance be paid, before their band got on the plane.

Which in many cases involving Foreign shows, is a standard procedure.

But, Melodic Rock Fest, obviously did not have the money as ticket sales were poor.

And no doubt, tried very hard to negotiate, and promised the event would pay them the balance, day of show. etc…

However, FireHouse and their agent likely said, “No deal” and soon after announced they were pulling out of the event.

If my math is correct, that means FireHouse was guarnateed $ 50,000.00 to play this event.

Noting, they were scheduled to play 1 live show, and an acoustic show as well.

I don’t fault FireHouse or the agent for this. Not at all.

One insider has told Metal Sludge and also allegend that FireHouse was to be paid $ 50,000.00.

The anonymous source has also said that the ticket sales for individual days were Friday (166), Saturday (330) and Sunday (250) as of a week ago.

This whole event, and its downfall, collapse or whatever you want to call it, is all on the shoulders of Andrew McNeice and his (somewhat silent, I haven’t heard or seen a word from anyone else) partners.

Or, are there really partners at all?


I mean, imagine if one of those big ship cruise events posted 40 bands, and a 15 story Norweigan Cruise Liner, and the day you showed up to the dock they had a Gilligan’s Island boat with Tuff playing acoustic while Junkyard and BulletBoys were doing extended live sets.

Of course there are the moron fans who will say “I love Junkyard!”

Hey, I do too… but that’s not the point.

The point is the promo says 20x Platinum Selling Artist, 15x Platinum Selling Artist, 7x Platinum Artist and so on, and so forth all the way down the list.

And it’s being advertised as a vacation in the Bahama’s. on this massive ship.

But in the end, it’s you, 40 other fans on a 35 foot boat floating in the Miami harbor 200 yards from shore watching me play “I Hate Kissing You Goodbye” on an acoustic with 2 broken strings.

My biggest issue here is Andrew McNeice, who is not being 100% honest and forthright to the fans, his fans of his event and the ticket buyers.

He’s stood tall and proud and accepted all the congratulations and pats on the back when things go good, so now… things are NOT going so good, and he’s suddenly saying “I am not involved…”.

As Maury would say, “That’s a lie!

Now I am rambling… I will stop but feel free to check the images at the bottom of this article.

And read my initial rant below which has since set off the firestorm of additional questions to those who are running Melodic Rock Fest.

To the readers here at Melodic Rock Fest…

I can’t be more serious when posting, what a load of bullish!t.
MRF your choice of words sucks balls.
All this didn’t fall apart in the last 1-2 weeks folks.
No, this event was in trouble months and months ago.
As in, last year.
But, like “some” promoters, who continue to deny their inevitable colossal failure, they not only misinform you the fans, but they actually are lying (kidding) themselves.
There is some whacky delusional fanboy gene that enters the mind, and they allow their own love of this music, or a certain artist’s music, to convince them that 1,500, or 2,000 others were thinking the same thing.
Obviously, they weren’t.
My best guess, is they didn’t sell 200-300 advance tickets to this.
And that was clear many months ago.
But instead of making the much needed severe adjustments to the calendar (line-up), they like Rock N’ Skull, Rock Harvest, Rock Gone Wild & others – just continued to hope.
To dream.
To fantasize, that by posting some “Buy 1, Get 1 Free” sale, or “Meet n’ Greet” acoustic jam pre-paty nonsense was going to suddenly blow the ticket sales into the roof.
Didn’t happen.
Wasn’t going to happen.
And many insiders, other agents, and select industry types knew this was a dumpster fire.
I’m not here to talk shit.
But I do talk reality.
I tell the truth.
I am honest.
My site, Metal Sludge has been bringing readers HONEST opinions, and the FACTS for over 2 decades.
I don’t do such, for no other reason, than to be a hater.
Nope. Not the case.
I have WAY more friends than enemies, and I have been fighting the good fight and flying the flag for 80’s rock, hard rock and the related the whole way.
But when I see people, screwing over fans, selling $500 weekend tickets, or $1500+ meet n greet packages, and then failing to follow through.
Well, guess what, that borders on criminal.
Especially, when the promoters are playing with a fans emotions, promising the moon, and then delivering FAR less.
This is not to piss on ANY of the bands (still) appearing.
But, 6 of the main attractions, including THE headliner, are all not going to appear.
Shame on you Melodic Rock Fest.
And yes, that includes you Andrew McNeice.
You have been “heavily involved” from the word go.
You know this, time to own it.
It just wasn’t “your money” but rather someone else’s.
Now you are posting bullshit on your wall about how crazy your day has been with finger pointing, or questions, etc..
Answer them!
Own it.
You’ve taken all the kudos for the past success of MRF, now accept the ass kicking for the failure in 2020.
I’m not on the bill. Never wanted to be on the bill, and have no reason to write this rant, other than to call you out.
The festival out. And whoever your partners, investors are.
Now refund ALL who ask for it and if you all pull some bullshit next Monday, and everyone gets screwed.., well, you will be reading my words again.



Metal Sludge is not responsible for offensive comments. That said, you have no right to free speech on this site. This is our site, and we are not the United States government. We reserve the right to edit all comments, and to moderate all comment threads, as we see fit. Happy Sludging!