“A2, Brute?” by The Original Doc

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.

 

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9 thoughts on ““A2, Brute?” by The Original Doc

  1. I was there. This is all 100% accurate…thank you for this…

  2. My husband and I both went, and you’re right in saying it was a huge flop. We were given free tickets, which was great but the turnout was horrible. The only enjoyment we got was running into a few friends there. The previous night we ran into an excellent band from Portland , Oregon , their name is American Overdose. They were promised a spot at A2 to play, they never got to play nor were paid. Kunz made appearances riding through the grounds on a golf cart smiling and laughing. All I can say is that never again will I ever attend an Arrowhead event.

  3. doesnt even begin to describe this day haha

  4. Free tickets? Security was randomly checking tickets for some people, while other people just walked right in. Me and my wife just walked in, the security on the table to the left never asked us for tickets or even patted us down. From what I heard, many people were able to just walk in (although I did see a few unfortunate people handing money over). I am knowledgeable in music promotion, the MI metal scene, and live sound reinforcement…and this festival was a complete embarrasment on all fronts. Especially the way Taproot (a band from this area) and Hed PE got treated. Hopefully the retards in charge get blacklisted from putting on any other show, I know none of the bands involved would ever do business with them again except to dispense with some “street justice”…

  5. Free tickets? Security was
    randomly checking tickets for
    some people, while other people
    just walked right in. Me and my
    wife just walked in, the security
    on the table to the left never
    asked us for tickets or even
    patted us down. From what I
    heard, many people were able to
    just walk in (although I did see a
    few unfortunate people handing
    money over). I am
    knowledgeable in music
    promotion, the MI metal scene,
    and live sound reinforcement…
    and this festival was a complete
    embarrasment on all fronts.
    Especially the way Taproot (a
    band from this area) and Hed PE
    got treated. Hopefully the
    retards in charge get blacklisted
    from putting on any other show,
    I know none of the bands
    involved would ever do business
    with them again except to
    dispense with some “street
    justice”…

  6. I posted in the other article too, and will paste what I wrote over there, but again, I think that all sides need to be told. Admittently, we were one of the first bands to play and probably the first to leave. We unloaded, reloaded our tour van and then skated about 1:00 (we were tired from playing late the night before in Chicago and then from the drive).

    So anyway, take this for what it is worth – just the experience of 1 band:

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    My band played at the A2 Fest this past weekend and were pretty skeptical how it would go for us, having read this blog and other reviews of John Kunz. We were still skeptical when John asked us if he could write us a check for our performance.

    I’m relieved to say that the check cleared into our bank account this morning.

    I did have John sign a Performance Contract, so I’m not sure if that had anything to do with it. But I would strongly encourage ALL musicians/vendors, etc., to operate with contracts in future. My band will NEVER commit to something like this without doing so. Because if they don’t want to sign, you’re probably going to get screwed.

    Anyway, I can’t say how sorry I am for everyone that has gotten screwed in the past. As a struggling musician in a growing band, it would have been – not devastating, but hard for us – had the funds not come through. At this point, we made a profit from our most recent venture now that this final reckoning is complete.

    But again, I think it is as important to compliment and blast out about good behavior as it is to let everyone know about the bad behavior. Hopefully, just that alone can encourage a bad business person to do right by people in and of itself.

  7. Kunz tried to wait us out, but we stayed. And stayed. And stayed. Finally, I think he saw that we weren’t going to just leave, and he paid us the gas money he said he would. Pretty frickin’ pathetic when an event producer/promoter tries to skip out on such a measly promise.

    The event itself was totally pathetic. Sad, empty, and ill-conceived. How, indeed, does a show get behind by 3 hours? There were numerous cancellations, plus the sets were cut… how could they not have made up the time.

    Rockapooza had major stage issues, yet they managed to be on time all night. Any time they got behind, the staff rallied and made up the time in changeovers. 3 hours really does put it all in perspective — these guys have no business running out to check the mail, let alone running a festival.

    Hope no one got Kuntzed too bad! Pro-tip: demand cash!

  8. I actually drove 2 hours to go to this concert. I was so excited to see Taproot in their hometown among other bands like Mushroomhead/Ventana/Deveraux/Know Lyfe/Endo.

    I showed up thinking there was going to be a ton of cars parked and this was going to be packed I pulled in and maybe 30 cars were there and I even arrived late.

    I know that every band I was there to see got their set cut short and I seen this assclown driving a golf cart around and I then knew this was a failure. Hed PE got to play 3 songs and then the power to their stage got pulled. I dont know how you get so far behind that your headliner gets to play 3 songs after curfew might I add. The only positive I can take out of this show was the food was relativity reasonable.

    If I knew Kunz was going to run this I would of never shown up.and saved my money.

    By the way personal story right before Naughty Donkey I was in talks about setting up a benefit concert and I heard mostly bad about Kunz but i just asked him one question being a new promoter any advice(which i know now is bad advice) his response was give me 2 bands on the bill and Arrowhead will donate 500 dollars so I was like I will get back ahold of you on that and from there only heard bad things about him so I told him the next day his services were no longer needed he said good luck and I told him good luck with naughty donkey fest.

    BTW best promoter in MI is Tim Corser

  9. I manage Taproot. We haven’t been paid in full either. John Kunz now owes me and my bands Taproot & 12 Stones together more then $10,000. I will say that Pittock paid us Taproot 1/2 of what they were owed. Kunz will always promise to pay you but never will, unless it’s someone else’s money.

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