Retro Rockfest canceled; disappointed fans demand refunds, organizers scramble in aftermath

The second day of the Retro Rockfest was canceled after low turnout and a dispute with the City of Hurricane over security forced organizers to pull the plug. | Image courtesy of Retro Rockfest, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A weekend concert event scheduled in Hurricane abruptly canceled the remainder of the concerts shortly before noon Saturday.

Event organizer K.J. Strong said the cancelation was due to several factors: a lack of turnout and a requirement that the event continue to have private security on hand, despite the fact that the Hurricane Police Department had already been paid to be there.

The second day of the Retro Rockfest was cancelled after low turnout and a dispute with the City of Hurricane over security forced organizers to pull the plug. | Photo by Ron Chaffin, St. George News
The second day of the Retro Rockfest was canceled after low turnout and a dispute with the City of Hurricane over security forced organizers to pull the plug. | Photo by Ron Chaffin, St. George News

Strong’s company, Strong Marketing Group, was the primary organizer of the event.

“Today we hadn’t paid our private security for today, but based on yesterday’s numbers, it was unnecessary even for the city’s calculation of security to number of people,” Strong said. “The police staff, who’ve already been paid, could have taken care of it.”

The City of Hurricane continued to insist the private security remain on site, which would have cost at least an extra $4000, Strong said, driving costs higher then the festival could afford.

“We were going to try and drop ticket prices, something to try and get more people here and recoup that to keep everything going,” she said. “They wouldn’t allow us — they wouldn’t compromise at all.”

The second day of the Retro Rockfest was cancelled after low turnout and a dispute with the City of Hurricane over security forced organizers to pull the plug. | Photo by Ron Chaffin, St. George News
The second day of the Retro Rockfest was canceled after low turnout and a dispute with the City of Hurricane over security forced organizers to pull the plug. | Photo by Ron Chaffin, St. George News

Strong canceled the remainder of the festival within fifteen minutes of getting the final word from the City of Hurricane, adding that she was very upset about the way the event turned out.

Disappointed people were demanding refunds on the festival’s Facebook page.

“How do we get the refunds I bought two day passes at the gate yesterday! !!!!!!!!!! I want my money back,” Tony Graves posted on the page.

“How are we going to make this right?? We paid for these shows! This is an embarrassment and a major disappointment! I’d hide if I were you!” Paul N Heather McInnes said.

“At this point, we’re being harassed — and threatened,” Strong said of the Facebook posts. “I understand people’s frustrations, but I also think there is a severe lack of understanding of what it takes to try and put something in this community together.”

Despite the frustrations on the part of those who are disappointed in the cancelation, Strong said she was trying to remain as positive as she could.

“It’s unfortunate circumstances, and I’m sure that’s not appeasing to those people, but that’s the best answer I have,” she said. “We’re not here to take people’s money and run with it, we’re not here to be crooks. We’re none of that.”

Hurricane Police Sgt. Brandon Buell confirmed no requirement had been imposed for additional police officers at the event Saturday, Other city officials and the mayor were not immediately available for comment as this report publishes.

Email: dgilman@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.

 

 

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5 Comments

  • old school May 21, 2016 at 7:51 pm

    I think the whole point is; regardless of the take, you should have had the integrity to see it through

    • Accountable May 22, 2016 at 9:47 am

      Strong is blaming the City (even though he contracted with the City and knew very well what was expected) and the people of Southern Utah (for not wanting to pay to hear music…) — blaming everyone else and not taking responsibility for his failure to properly promote his event. Along with lack of advertising, the RetroRockFest website and Facebook page was a mess with incorrect and/or outdated information. As for the uninformed comments from Strong’s defenders, educate yourselves — Zion Canyon Music Festival manages to put on a fantastic two-day festival for $5.00 a day (not $65.00) with quality beer and food vendors.

      He absolutely should have let the concert continue out of respect for the ticketholders and the sponsors. In addition to refunding the ticketholders, Strong should refund his sponsors for breach of contract.

    • .... May 23, 2016 at 2:31 am

      I doubt they care what you think LOL !

  • Eric May 24, 2016 at 4:59 pm

    Lesson learned: dont hold the festival in podunk Hurricane. They hate rock. Have it at the old airport in St. George. The mayor of Saint George likes the festival.

    • Accountable May 24, 2016 at 7:47 pm

      Seriously, get a grip Eric. This major f”up has nothing to do with the City of Hurricane. This is totally the fault of either an inexperienced marketing company (I’m being kind here) headed by Curtis Strong BUT (more likely) SMG Curtis Strong scamming his sponsors and ticketholders (who mostly avoided this mess). How many of our community heard about this concert not even in the months before but in the week or days before? No one.

      This happened NOT because of the City of Hurricane but solely due to Curtis Strong’s inability, or very real intent not, to promote his event. Worse yet, did he intentionally plan to collect as much as he could from his sponsors and ticket buyers to then declare bankruptcy? Where is the $15,000 he collected from each of his sponsors? His ONLY redemption is to refund the ticketholders and return the sponsors’ money.

      Curtis Strong scammed numerous people and businesses along with the City of Hurricane. The money he collected will be protected in his upcoming bankruptcy — all that talk about him having to sell his house and vehicles is B.S. Being an LLC, he will suffer no financial repercussions from his criminal actions.

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