Many of us have seen or heard about the festival that was supposed be the The Definitive Event of Ann Arbor, A2 Fest, put together by Jeff Pitock of Breaking Point Entertainment. From what I’ve heard from band and the pictures I’ve seen surfacing already, the show was a complete disaster. You could just chalk that up to Michigan’s horrendous economy if it weren’t for a few little details that I feel are worth mentioning.
Some of you may remember a certain article about a certain “promoter and booking agent,” John Kunz of Arrowhead Productions. The one who ripped off over $100,000 from one show alone, sank the Naughty Donkey festival himself by writing checks his ass couldn’t cash, has been sued multiple times for not following through on contracts and agreements, and basically made an ass of himself to the entire music community.
Well, as some of you know, Mr. Pitock promised everyone involved that Kunz WOULD NOT be involved with this show after his actions at the Naughty Donkey went public. Well, everyone was lied to. Kunz was there “in charge” of everything.
Anyone who attended the festival agreed it was a flop. According to sources at the event, around five hundred people attended the event, including band members. Do that math. Roughly 250 people there were band members. On top of that, there were a metric shit ton of tickets given away for free, so I have no clue even as to how many people ACTUALLY paid to attend the event. My guess would be not many.
Bands, including the national acts, had their sets cut short or cut entirely. Hed PE played three songs and were cut off. The same story with Taproot. Why were the sets cut short? Because the show was THREE HOURS behind schedule. How the hell does a “The Definitive Event of Ann Arbor” get THREE HOURS behind schedule?
Jeff Pitock and John Kunz don’t know how to run a show any better than I know how to perform open heart surgery. Judging by their track records, I’d say that I have a better chance of getting the surgery down first.
I’ll tell you right now, not all of the bands got paid, including the headliners. Some of them did, although I’m not sure who. I’d assume it was Taproot, Mushroomhead and Hed PE. Why didn’t the rest of the bands get paid? Because Kunz made off with a bulk of the money leaving the bands, staff, and pretty much everyone involved with their proverbial dicks in their hands. They didn’t even get the free food and water they were promised unless they annoyed the shit out of the people “in charge,” and even then they had to approach them multiple times to get results.
Again, a band had to step in and save the day, and for that I commend you, Uncommon Road.
If The Naughty Donkey festival wasn’t a wakeup call to you bands, vendors, and fans, then I hope this is the wakeup call you need. These people and those like them are ruining our music community one show at a time and we just keep letting them do this. When will enough be enough and no one will work with these guys?
I trust that this article is just the tip of the iceberg. I’m sure more and more stories will surface after this is posted. Oh, and this one is being posted on the website so it’s impossible to get taken down, unlike Facebook who suddenly finds that telling the truth and trying to stop people from getting ripped off is offensive.