CONTACT: Ryan Kriger, Assistant Attorney General, (802) 828-3170
Donovan Resolves Investigation of Botched Concert
Vermonters and others who purchased tickets to a concert gone wrong will be eligible for refunds. The Office of Attorney General T.J. Donovan has resolved its investigation of Shrinedom 2017, a rock festival that was supposed to take place on Saturday, September 16, 2017, in Irasburg. Seven bands were contracted to play, including local bands and national acts Vince Neil, Slaughter, Warrant, Lita Ford and Firehouse. On the day of the festival, the organizers had not sold enough tickets to pay the national bands, who did not perform. The bands and the public were told that there were issues with the generators, when in fact not enough tickets were sold to pay the bands.
Ten thousand dollars have been provided for ticketholders who have not yet been reimbursed. Approximately $10,000 has already been reimbursed to consumers by PayPal, which processed many of the payments. Ticket buyers eligible for reimbursement can submit an online form located at the Attorney General’s website or may mail the attached form to the Mount Sinai Shriners. Consumers seeking to make a claim for reimbursement will be required to produce a proof of purchase or affirm under penalty of purchase that they purchased tickets for which they have not been reimbursed, and to state the amount spent on tickets.
Ticket buyers may also make a tax-deductible charitable contribution to the Shriners in lieu of reimbursement. The Shriners will provide a receipt for proof of donation to any consumer who makes such a donation.
The investigation concluded that the festival should have been delayed in August 2017 due to poor ticket sales, but organizers chose not to delay in hopes of securing sales the day of the event to cover costs. Poor judgment and lack of experience in organizing a music festival of this size led hundreds of consumers to purchase tickets to an event which did not run as advertised. Local bands Raized on Radio and MindTrap, and the Nashville Country Band did perform.
The main organizers were Adam Johnson and Marcus Clay of Irasburg. Johnson was primarily responsible for the event, but he relied heavily on Clay’s alleged expertise in producing music events. Mount Sinai Shriners No 3, the Montpelier, Vermont chapter of the International Shriners, heavily funded the event, which was to raise money for the organization. Some participants in the event stated that they agreed to participate based on the understanding that the Shriners were affiliated with the event, though it was held by a separate organization called Kingdom Cares, which was created by Johnson.
Johnson has agreed not to direct any fundraisers for five years. Clay will not produce any events with an audience greater than 1,000 for five years. All parties have agreed to take steps to avoid mistakes with fundraising events in the future, under penalty of violating the agreement.
“I’m happy this matter is resolved and ticketholders will be compensated,” said Attorney General Donovan.
Last modified: December 5, 2018