With just days to go, Rock Gone Wild canceled, leaving fans confused and angered over a loss of a massive concert – and possible ticket funds. While the issue of refunds is still up in the air, I’m continuing to look backward, piecing together why the event fell apart so close to the finish line.
At the beginning stages of the festival, Nathalie Faghihi worked closely with a man named Rob Rogers. He’s spent his career running concerts and was operations director for the first Rocklahoma in 2007. He held the same position with Rock Gone Wild. Rogers left the festival in April. After his departure, Faghihi alleged Rogers made off with a large sum of money from an official Rock Gone Wild bank account. The allegation was recently corroborated online, in a statement from A.B.A.T.E. of Iowa. That statement reads, in part:
After several meetings, an agreement was made on the rent for Freedom Park, in August 2008 the contract was signed. Nat & Bruce came here to see the park with a new partner, Rob Rogers, (he since has proven to less than a desirable character) supposedly making off with a bunch of their money. Late spring 2009, they canned Rob, and brought on Donnie Frizzel (sic) as a partner...
The “Nat and Bruce” mentioned are Ms. Faghihi and Bruce Rage, her husband. Rob Rogers says he never stole any money.
“She [Ms. Faghihi] was given complete record keeping...of all banking,” says Mr. Rogers. “I as a person with the company was allowed to take a salary, which I did take, and it’s all on record and recorded. She’s got about 30 to 40 thousand locked up in a security account – which she says I stole – but it’s actually locked up in a security insurance account for Cornerstone Merchant account, which was the merchant account that was set up.” Bring Back Glam! is contacting Cornerstone for comment.
So if everything is on the up and up, why did Rob Rogers suddenly leave the festival? “I was an owner of the company and I was a shareholder of the company before I was bought out and I was allowed to take a salary for my work,” Rogers explains. “That’s kind of the American way. Generally you do get an income for your job.”
Rogers tells Bring Back Glam! he was bought out of his contract with Rock Gone Wild for one dollar. He says he still has the check.
“As far as money goes, it’s real simple: if I had stole money, I would have been prosecuted for it,” affirms Rogers. “Not bought out. Not bought out for a dollar. Not bought out for a nickel. Not bought out for a penny. I would not have been bought out if I’d stolen money. Once you buy them out and sign a release saying they have no liability, if they did steal it, you’ve just released them from all liability. My buyout clearly states that I have no financial obligations to that festival in any way, shape or form.”
Rock Gone Wild was supposed to take place August 20-23 at Diamond Jo Casino in Northwood, Iowa.
The story continues tomorrow...