Bands Want Houston Beer Fest to Pay Up

Categories: Only In Houston

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Photos by Francisco Montes
A number of bands who played the recent Houston Beer Fest are now upset with the promoters, claiming they bounced checks to as many as 20 acts who appeared, as well as some vendors. Meanwhile, the promoters say they are digging out from a huge financial hole resulting from scheduled headliner Rick Ross's no-show at the event (not to mention theft by their own employees), and are pursuing legal action themselves.

Tuesday afternoon on the Houston Beer Fest 2015 Facebook page, Evan Dickson, manager of Austin alt-rock group Dynamite Hack, posted, "You guys should really pay all the bands from 2014 before scheduling 2015."

His comments were co-signed by Jonathan Pretus, vocalist/guitarist for New Orleans-based The Breton Sound, who also performed at Beer Fest. Later in the thread, he said the band was not informed of the free beer available in the artists' catering area until it was too late and the band had already bought their own beer tickets, "which in itself was an adventure."

"Not the most organized event I've ever been to," he said.

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On the surface, the fourth-year festival appeared to have been a success, drawing large crowds to Sam Houston Park last month for the two-day event, which featured acts including Pepper, Action Bronson 3OH!3 and dozens of local and regional bands. But things began to unravel around 6:30 p.m. Sunday, June 8, when an announcement was made that a "medical emergency" had prevented Ross from making the trip to Houston.

Timothy Hudson, one of the Beer Fest partners as well as the festival's talent buyer, says he had received a message from Ross's management earlier saying that the Miami rapper was dealing with an infection due to a tooth that had been extracted earlier in the week and might not be able to make his appearance. (Previously, Ross had already canceled his past several Houston dates.) However, Ross's Twitter account posted the following photo to his more than 3 million followers the evening of June 8, which coincided with Game 2 of the NBA Finals.

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Further adding to Beer Fest's woes, Hudson claims the event experienced a significant problem with employee theft this year.

"The combination of Ross and employee theft has made it very hard for us to pay some of the vendors," Hudson admitted Tuesday. "We had several employees stealing beer cards (which to us is money) and giving away free beer, which is money as well."

Ultimately the money Beer Fest organizers spent buying beer for the festival, which advertised in the neighborhood of 100 different varieties of beer, dwarfed the revenue the festival saw in sales, Hudson says. He added that he and his partners have drafted a letter to Ross and his management informing them of their intention to sue unless the rapper's substantial up-front guarantee is refunded.


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32 comments
sconley34
sconley34

Bullshit they lost money on stolen beer tickets.

lawman_miller
lawman_miller

That m. fer owe everybody in there mamma...including me !!! Janky promoter, lol

Chris Loll
Chris Loll

That festival is a joke. The organizers are completely clueless about running an event. Wise up, Houston.

rkhovey
rkhovey

It's not just the musicians not getting paid - it's also the breweries.  These guys should not be allowed to continue having festivals.

bogwart
bogwart

Seriously, quit giving these guys your money. They obviously aren't trying to operate a sound business.

Noelle A. Perry
Noelle A. Perry

^ It gets a little harder to take the intended message seriously when there are such basic and ridiculous errors. And it happens ALL THE TIME. Seriously, HP. Hire a proofreader. You can get 'em pretty cheap these days.

John Heckel
John Heckel

I was also assuming that the organizers did not have to pay for the beer because it was free all day/night. I really had a good time at this fest and will def go back if they are able to do it again.

Brad McLelland
Brad McLelland

I had a good time. I can see how they didn't make the expected money on the beer. None of the servers were asking for tickets. I'm surprised the breweries don't give the beer for free as marketing. I disagree with people saying it was too expensive.

David627
David627

After failing to even get in the gates at the first beer fest I vowed not to ever go again as long as these clowns were running it. While in line for the first one people were leaving saying they had run out of beer and glasses to serve them in, stood in line for an hour for nothing, so we left without even getting in. They had 1 entrance for an oversold event and it was utter chaos. These guys don't know what they are doing and just pocket all the money and somehow they are broke.

Andrew Hernandez
Andrew Hernandez

Does this usually happen in Houston? Always wondered why so many bands skip Houston.

BustFest
BustFest

What a fustercluck. Never again.

ocelot4381
ocelot4381

The event coordinators wouldn't let their bartenders accept tips.

Brett Walker
Brett Walker

Houston Beer Fest has always been a bust. I remember when they had ran out of beer before most of the people could even get in the gates. There weren't even any bands that year, just a 2 hour wait to get into a beer festival with no beers.

Shannon Demny
Shannon Demny

If this is the Houston Beer Fest I am thinking of, it is no surprise to me that there would be complaints. The first one I went to was very unorganized. Looks like some things don't change.

Carlitos Way
Carlitos Way

They need to rethink this whole thing. This is not a beer festival anymore. It's a giant overcrowded concert. Very overpriced for a beer festival for what you get in return.

Juan Castillo
Juan Castillo

Sad i missed action bronson, not so sad i missed rick ross

texmex01
texmex01 topcommenter

There was theft, but it sounds like it was committed by the promoters....

Chris Alonzo
Chris Alonzo

such a horrible Festival.... overpriced. and the free beer they gave the band was crap. no organization at all

wiseup
wiseup

How can you blame this on a headliner based on if they showed or didn't show... you should be able to pay all your guarantees regardless... if 25 thousand people walked through those gates  at $35 a head.. that's $875,000 from the door alone.. not to mention fees from vendors, and sponsor revenue. Come on..

Dallas Hölmes
Dallas Hölmes

another poorly run houston festival?! the hell you say.

rkhovey
rkhovey

Breweries cannot legally donate beer to a for-profit event such as this.  At this point many if not most of the breweries in attendance have not been paid.  If they weren't paying the musicians or the breweries, how was this a success??

h_e_x
h_e_x

Bands being stiffed is a unique phenomena in Houston that you won't find anywhere else on the planet. In fact, this is the first time a band has ever been stiffed, period. We are entering dark times.

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