It was billed as a one of a kind music festival, but it fell flat before the first note was ever played.
Roxodus was supposed to take place at Edenvale Airport in Stayner, Ont. in Clearview Township, on the July 11-13 weekend and promised four consecutive days of rocking out with some huge names on the bill.
Last week, organizers said the festival was cancelled, blaming the “tremendous rainy weather” over the past couple of months for their inability to produce the festival.
However recent developments now reveal rain may not be the reason for the wash out.
The festival was being put together by a company called MF Live, with organizers Fab Loranger and Mike Dunphy reportedly at the helm.
The two partners allegedly in charge are now pointing the finger at each other as serious questions are being asked about what happened to millions of dollars spent on the event.
With an investigation underway by Ontario Provincial Police, Mike Dunphy says he left MF Live before the festival was cancelled.
In a statement to CityNews, Fab Loranger puts the blame on Dunphy.
“We invested millions of dollars. We relied on Mr. Dunphy, his representations and his advice, to ensure everything was properly taken care of. It obviously wasn’t. We lost it all,” he said.
Dunphy called the accusations “ridiculous,” going on to say the facts will play out and show otherwise.
Denise Woodley, a family friend of Dunphy’s, says she had breakfast with the former festival partner as recently as a week and a half ago and he shared some eye opening figures with her.
She tells CityNews the company paid, among other expenses:
- Aerosmith: $4 million USD
- Kid Rock: $750,000 USD
- Property rental: $3 million
- Growing grass in the area: $150,000
Woodley says they had about $5 million in ticket sales so far, but all the money spent has reportedly been lost.
“Honestly that money is gone – my last figure that I heard thrown about was $18 million,” she says, adding the now estranged business partners owe everyone involved a massive apology.
“I just want them to accept responsibility for what they’ve done. Because its not just a credit card company reimbursing a customer. Its way bigger than that, It’s two people who have affected so many lives,” she says.
Online ticketing website Eventbrite has begun refunding ticket holders. In a tweet posted over the weekend they said they’ve received no indication that Roxodus organizers plan to refund ticket holders.
2/2 We have set up an Eventbrite-funded Fan Relief Program to make all ticket holders whole as we continue to aggressively pursue the return of funds from Roxodus. We are transferring funds to ticket holders immediately & they will see it in their account within 7 business days.
— Eventbrite Help (@eventbritehelp) July 6, 2019
But while fans might see some of their money returned soon via Eventbrite, over a hundred vendors are still out of pocket — they paid $900 for a spot at the festival plus insurance and food vendors paid much more — around $4,000.
“There’s a lady up in Sudbury and she makes those spiral tornado potatoes. My understanding is she has 20,000 pounds of potatoes in her garage right now. She will never be able to use that many,” says Woodley.
She adds that Dunphy also asked her to make headbands for the festival with the Roxodus logo on them. Now worthless, she took them to a flea market this past weekend, where she gave them away to people willing to make a donation to charity. Her basement is still packed with them.
“I have hundreds of them. 800 sitting in my basement right now,” she says. “There were some mornings I was up at 4 a.m. preparing headbands before I got to work at 7:30 and up late at night getting them ready so that I could have everything ready for this event. I put a lot of energy into this.”
Vendors have only heard via email that the festival is looking into all options moving forward and cannot provide any further comment.
CityNews reached out mayor of Clearview Township Doug Measures and he says it is up to MF Live to do the right thing and pay the vendors as well as the townspeople the money they’re owed.
RELATED: In the Big Story podcast, Barrie Today’s Shawn Gibson talks about how Roxodus nearly became Canada’s own Fyre Festival. Listen to the podcast below: