The post-Laconiafest fallout is just beginning.
After abrupt cancellations, stiffed bands, and pissed-off attendees, the organizer of Laconiafest is now threatening Digital Music News for reporting it all. Last week, Ari Herstand of DMN caught wind of a serious problem at the New Hampshire festival, and started interviewing bands, attendees, and support staff that were getting cancelled, stiffed, or both. Most concluded that Laconiafest’s organizer, Tyler Glover, had skipped town after collecting the initial payments and commitments estimated in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Now, Glover is getting in our face over the story, and demanding retractions while threatening legal action. Here’s the first correspondence that came back on June 23rd, with an attorney (who we won’t mention) cc’d on the thread.
“I want you to recant the article and put up what is right. i trusted you to write accurate not fantasy from someone else mouth. if not i will have my law firm move forward with your company. I’m not kidding, people can go to jail over lying. there is nothing factual here. if you are a true writer, then please write the truth. Let me know soon. need down in the next to 2hours so you can fix the content.”
Ari had been repeatedly attempting to contact Glover prior to publishing his story, and only received threats after the post went live. After the threatening email, Ari re-compiled the list of questions and allegations against Glover in this email (also with the attorney cc’d), while asking for clear responses to each.
I repeatedly asked you for a comment before the story went live and gave you a phone number at where I could be reached to discuss. You never called and only offered a comment after the story went live, to which we updated with your comment immediately (I gave you an exact time the story was to go live).
We are happy to correct any inaccuracies and to include any statement into the piece that you would like in addition to (or instead of) the current quote you offered.
Please let me know if you’d like to comment on the following and if you believe these points to be true or not. I have corroborated everything in the piece by multiple sources.
1) Some bands were charged $750 – $1,000 to play a 30 minute set. Some sold tickets. Some did not. Regardless if they sold tickets or not, they had to pay $750 – $1,000 to take the stage.
2) LaconiaFest was scheduled from June 11 – 19th, however, it was cancelled June 18th and 19th.
3) All bands that paid to perform on the 18th and 19th have not received refunds.
4) Fans that bought tickets either through the website or from bands have not been refunded
5) People were let into the festival some days for free and some days for $5 even though tickets were sold for $45-$65 in advance.
6) The first 3 days of the festival attendance maxed out at around 200 (as The Laconia Daily Sun reported)
7) Electrician Michael Smith has not been paid the $8,000 he says he is owed
8) You were not on the grounds after Wednesday June 15th (after Steven Tyler’s performance) and could not be reached by Mike Trainer.
9) You are in or were in possession (at any time) of money made from LaconiaFest
10) Many grounds workers were not paid and were not present at the festival the 15th, 16th or 17th.
11) Your bookers have still not been paid what they are owed.
12) You pistol whipped a production member in the production office and shot at the floor next to him.
Anything else you would like to comment on please do so. We will update the piece accordingly.
After receiving no response, I jumped in (as publisher) to reiterate that we wanted to clarify any details we may have gotten wrong. As I was writing this, the irony of trying to chase down the attorney on the thread to discuss the matter wasn’t missed. For now, we’ll just leave the attorney’s name as ‘Christopher’ as we’re not even sure if he wants to get involved.
I’m the publisher of Digital Music News, and Tyler, we’re obviously taking your response very seriously. We are ready to strike any information which is incorrect, and will do so immediately.
Christopher, by copy, if you would like to proactively discuss this matter with me involving Mr. Glover, who I assume is your client, I would be happy to talk with you at your convenience. My schedule is available for this important issue.
In the meantime, Tyler I’d like to thanks you for for addressing the specific concerns of Ari, who has amassed these accusations, many of which were previously published and discussed and to which he attempted to receive your comments prior to publication.
At some point, the entire Laconiafest Facebook page was taken down, reaffirming that our initial suspicions about a runaway organizer weren’t misguided. On Facebook, lots of comments and complaints had been piling up, which probably explains why it was summarily deleted.
The only response we’ve received was a brief back-and-forth regarding allegation 12, which involves firing a gun and pistol-whipping a production worker involved in the Laconiafest setup. Others may have been threatened, directly or indirectly, in that altercation. In a brief email, Glover questioned the source and also issued more threats, though that was based on first-hand accounts to Ari, with anonymity obviously granted for safety reasons:
“Please give me person name because is totally untrue. you said from your words that i pistol wip someone and then shot at floor. and who is this person i did this too ? Where is the proof (never go off source unless you have creditable proof). These must be some big sources that also potential stole money from event or are making up story to blame a fall guy because they did not step up as they promised for the event.
“Please make sure they no and yourself what you may be getting yourself into.”
Since that point, the office of theAttorney General of the State of New Hampshire has now stepped into the investigation. James Boffetti, a senior assistant in the Office and head of consumer protection bureau, has now told the Boston Globe that he has been assigned to the case but hasn’t received specific complaints from participants.
According to the same Globe report, the City of Laconia is also trying to contact Glover. “We’ve not been able to establish communication with the promoters since June 16,” Laconia city manager Scott Myers relayed. “It’s not been for a lack of trying.”
Separate reports indicate that a broader criminal investigation may be underway, with additional involvement now coming from the US Department of Labor and Laconia police.
More as this situation develops.