roxodus festival cancellation

Accusations swirl around now-cancelled Roxodus festival

The company responsible for staging — and then, at the last minute, cancelling — what would have been the most star-studded rock festival in Canadian history are trading barbs in the press this week over who is responsible for ruining Roxodus.

The four-day-long music festival, set to take place at the Edenvale Airport in Clearview Township just north of Toronto, was unexpectedly called off last Wednesday due to "tremendous rainy weather."

Event organizers said at the time that rain had washed out the intended site of their event, which had already booked such acts as Aerosmith, Nickelback, Kid Rock, Alice Cooper, Cheap Trick, Collective Soul, Matthew Good, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Peter Frampton, Billy Idol and Blondie.

Hopeful attendees who'd spent thousands of dollars on tickets, travel and accommodation were furious — and skeptical about why the festival would be cancelled with less than two weeks to go.

As it turns out, they were right to be.

The two principles behind the company putting on Roxodus, MF Live, are now blasting each other as Ontario Provincial Police investigate what happened.

Fab Loranger, head of MF Live, says that Mike Dunphy — who left the company on June 21 — mismanaged millions of dollars, resulting in the festival's failure.

"Our specific role in the entire project was to provide the funding. We invested millions of dollars," said Loranger in a statement. "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."

Dunphy, on the other hand, told Global News in a piece published Monday night that "crappy ticket sales" were the reason for Roxodus' cancellation.

"I did not steal any monies," he said, calling Loranger's statement "ridiculous."

With only 20,000 tickets sold in early May, Dunphy says organizers were aware that the fest was in financial trouble. He estimates losses at this point to be around $12 million, though a family friend who spoke to City News puts it closer to $18 million.

As for the poor souls who purchased tickets — up to $639 for passes alone — Eventbrite is stepping up to the plate.

"After multiple attempts to communicate and secure funds back from the abruptly-cancelled Roxodus festival in Ontario, Canada, the organizers have provided no indication they will refund ticket holders," reads a statement published by the ticketing site on Saturday.

"We believe attendees deserve to get their money back now."

The event management company, which was facilitating ticket sales for Roxodus, has set up a"an Eventbrite-funded Fan Relief Program to make all ticket holders whole as we continue to aggressively pursue the return of funds from Roxodus."

Customers can expect to see their funds returned within seven business days.

MF Live on the other hand, gets to deal with the consequences of staging what almost became Canada's own Fyre Festival — whatever those consequences may be.

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