Bring Back Glam! continues to investigate the unraveling of Rock Gone Wild, the multi-day festival originally scheduled for August 20-23 in Northwood, Iowa. The festival was canceled Friday with this statement posted online:
Rock Gone Wild, an Iowa based LLC was informed by Diamond Jo Casino, LLC legal counsel on August 5, 2009, that the event cannot take place anywhere on the licensed premises. Due to Diamond Jo Casino, LLC refusing to honor its obligation to provide the venue, we are unable to produce the event as planned. This matter has been referred to legal counsel.
The phrase “...the event cannot take place anywhere on the license premises” left ticketholders scrambling and confused. Was the event really canceled? Most presumed yes. As of this writing, no other official statement has been issued by RGW management.
An online report yesterday in the Globe Gazette (out of Mason City, IA) quotes Ted Sporer, legal counsel for Rock Gone Wild. In the article, he states “...We would very much like to save the concert. At this point, I don’t know if that’s feasible. There will be information on that in the very near future.”
I contacted both Nathalie Faghihi (festival manager) and Donnie Frizzell (promoter) for an interview. Mr. Frizzell referred me to Mr. Sporer. Ms. Faghihi did not respond. Mr. Sporer began representing Rock Gone Wild LLC Thursday, one day before the event was canceled.
The very first question I had for Mr. Sporer regarded the Globe Gazette piece and the possibility of the festival happening after all. “Over the weekend...we were still attempting to revive the event,” explains Sporer. “[It] doesn’t look very likely we will bring it back...at least not this year.”
When I followed up about the possibility of a Rock Gone Wild festival during 2010, the attorney stated that “he didn’t want to commit his clients.”
But how did it all fall apart? Rock Gone Wild was supposed to kick off next week. Some have speculated about the lack of a contract with the Diamond Jo Casino. “There was an exchange of emails,” Sporer assures me. When I inquired about the legality of even a verbal agreement, the attorney for Rock Gone Wild explained “...Even a verbal agreement is sufficient to bind an event.”
Bring Back Glam! contacted a third party for legal advice. The source, an attorney speaking on the condition of anonymity, agrees with Sporer – to a point. “A verbal contract can be binding, and as such, an agreement worked out via email could also be binding,” explains my source. “It in no way is a slam dunk win.” My source then proceeded to give me a class in Contracts 101. I soon learned contracts are made of basically six parts: Offer, Acceptance, Meeting of the Minds/mutuality of Obligation, Legal Purpose, Consideration and Competent Parties. My source concludes his lesson by explaining there is no requirement that a contract be in writing.
“[This is] no scam,” asserts Mr. Sporer. “I assure you there will be ample litigation.” Litigation because Rock Gone Wild plans to bring suit against Diamond Jo Casino. Exact terms of the suit were not disclosed, but Mr. Sporer told me the lawsuit will be filed “within the next seven to ten days.” He also promises Bring Back Glam! receive a copy of the legal documents after the filing. Other online news outlets cite possible problems with Diamond Jo and the land agreement. Calls placed with Diamond Jo Casino regarding the potential lawsuit were not returned.
While legal papers are drawn up, fans still wait for their refunds. “I can’t speak to information at this point regarding refunds,” says Sporer. The attorney promises to issue an official statement regarding refunds when all information is gathered.
“My clients are in shock,” Sporer admits. “I’ve never had a situation where anyone pulled out at this late notice on such a big event. They are up to their ears in proverbial alligators. This is a big problem...it’s a terrible time.”
Twisted Sister, Saving Abel, Candlebox, Lita Ford, Kix, Puddle of Mudd and many more were scheduled to play Rock Gone Wild.
Even more tomorrow.