Associated Press, Published August 04 2010
UPDATED: ND rock festival sparks complaints by some bandsUPDATED 8:15 a.m.
SAWYER, N.D. — Low attendance at a rock festival near the small central North Dakota community of Sawyer has put the organizers in a financial bind and bands are wondering if they will be paid for their performance.
Some bands could not cash checks from the Thunder Mountain RockFest in early July because payment had been stopped, said Brian Hill, who represents the band Rock Sugar.
"Chances are they lost money on the festival, and I've seen this before with bands, festival producers," he said. "The festival didn't go as good as they wanted, they panicked ... or, they're just evil and they've taken the money and split."
Event organizer Corey Hanson said officials were "trying to work things out" with performers. He said he has referred the matter to his attorney.
Ward County Sheriff's Capt. Todd Keller said the dispute is a civil matter and there is no criminal investigation.
Bill Monot, who represents the band Blood, Sweat & Tears, said he feels the situation has been handled poorly.
"There's a way to do things and there's other ways to do things," he said. "I just don't feel that they acted appropriately with regards to bouncing all this paper all over everybody."
The four-day festival featured bands from different eras. Hanson said attendance was low for several new bands, and next year the festival will be shortened to three days and feature only classic rock.
"We've gotten letters upon letters of people saying, you know, we can't wait until next year," Hanson said.
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.