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How not to run a festival

The Rock & Roll Allstars package, including Glenn Hughes, were scheduled to headline the Metal Open Air festival in Brazil this weekend (April 21). However, the festival was plagued with problems and they have cancelled the gig issuing the following statement:

Rock N’ Roll Allstars are saddened to annouce the cancellation of our performance at Metal Open Air Festival in Sao Luis, Brazil.

We regret not being able to attend. We are in South America and are ready to rock, but the circumstances are beyond our control: We were informed before flying to Brazil today that many other artists have pulled out of the event, as well as local security. We are very concerned for the safety of the fans and artists whom are already at the festival.

We are receiving confirmed reports from other bands and friends on the ground that the event is dangerous and a disaster. Please be safe, and we look forward to rocking for you in the future.

Antiquiet provides the background:

The first set of problems came up when attendees found out that the camping area was set at nearby horse stables, devoid of any bathrooms, light or water supply. Due to a delay in getting the stages ready, as well as having the festival grounds meet certain security standards, the concerts began nearly five hours late – but the crowd was already aware that they weren’t getting what they came for.

At first, the line-up looked strong enough for a metal-only event. However, it suffered its first loss on Thursday, as third-day headliners Venom announced that they were no longer participating: according to a statement by the group, their South American visas were mistakenly sent to Africa. Things spiraled down from there, as a handful of Brazilian acts began to cancel their performances, stating, one by one, that they weren’t paid in time. Furthermore, Saxon, one of the main international acts, also announced they weren’t showing up, with a clear-as-crystal reason: ”Saxon is sad to announce that they have to cancel the performance at Metal Open Air in Sao Luis Brazil due to a serious breach of contract by the promoters. Having waited since march the 15th for the fee to arrive as of Friday 2pm no money has arrived.”

But the worse was still to come. “Supergroup” Rock & Roll All Stars (comprised of Gene Simmons, Sebastian Bach, Matt Sorum, Duff McKagan, Mike Inez, among others), arguably Metal Open Air’s most eye-catching act, were set to headline the second day, making their only appearance in the country, with Charlie Sheen as a master of ceremonies – for some reason. Surely enough, as with so many other acts before, the group simply didn’t get paid; Shannon Tweed, Gene Simmon’s wife, tweeted: “Allegedly the local promoter in Brazil can’t be located so we can’t pay the crew, musicians, pilots, etc & won’t make that show! #shyster.”

Eventually, the rest of the festival had to be cancelled alltogether.

Likewise, the Rock & Roll Allstars’ upcoming performance in Chile on April 25 has been cancelled as well. No reasons are given.

Update (Apr 26): It appears that the rest of the tour apart from Lima, Peru, on April 27 has now been cancelled. The official press release provides few insights as to what happened:

Rock ‘N’ Roll Allstars regret to inform our fans that the shows we had scheduled in Ecuador, Colombia, Costa Rica, Panama, Guatemala and Venezuela have been cancelled. An incredible effort was made to work with local promoters to bring our show to the fans but they made it impossible for us to do so. We are saddened that we will not be coming to Central America and will do everything possible to ensure that our fans receive refunds for all tickets purchased. We are in South America and just had amazing shows in Paraguay and Argentina where thousands of fans came to hear the hits of Guns N’ Roses, Kiss, Def Leppard and more. The show in Lima, Peru [on April 27 at Jockey Club] is still on sale and the band is still playing this show. Thank you for your support and we hope to see each and every one of you soon.

Thanks to Yvonne Osthausen for the heads up and to Ultimate Classic Rock and Antiquiet for the details.

5 Comments to “How not to run a festival”:

  1. 1
    Wiktor says:

    Is this the same country that´s gonna host the World cup in football and the Olympic games….Lord have mercy!

  2. 2
    LRT says:

    Are we gpoing to be reading here about when Glenn goes to the toilet or not? I mean what this has to do with Purple I will never guess. One guy who was there for 2 1/2 years and this? 🙂

  3. 3
    Danny says:

    @ LRT… .Burn and Stormbringer….enough said.

  4. 4
    Rasmus Heide says:

    The RnR Allstars’ organisation could perhaps use some advice from Iron Maiden’s management; they’ve successfully toured South America several times in recent years – and even managed to produce films of the events. Go figure.

  5. 5
    John says:

    @Danny & LRT – Don’t forget Come Taste The Band

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