Promoter pulls plug on "SuperTwang" festival

5:14 PM, May 15, 2011   |    comments
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The plug has been pulled early on an East Tennessee music festival.  SuperTwang kicked off Friday on private property in Campbell County, but organizers shut it down late Saturday afternoon. 

"We had no clue. They told us they needed 15,000 tickets to be sold for them to break even. It doesn't seem like that many people have been here at all," said Jonathan Towe, a seasonal worker.

Dozens of workers, like Towe, crowded around a small office building Saturday afternoon in an effort to get questions answered about whether or not they will get paid.  Many of them told 10News they had been told they would not be compensated for the hours they worked during the week.

"How could you do that to just normal people. This area's not the strongest in jobs anyway. This meant a lot to a lot of people," said seasonal worker, Jene Hopkins.

Hopkins is six months pregnant, and took a job with SuperTwang to make some extra money for her baby daughter's nursery.  Now, she said her baby won't have a room to come home to.

"I just wanna get paid for what I did. I worked good and hard," said Hopkins.

Hopkins said she found out about the festival shutting down by a co-worker.  She said the co-worker didn't want her standing in the heat doing work she knew neither of them would get paid for. 

Employees waited for concert promoter, Hal Royce, to answer their questions about their compensation.  Royce never came out of the building he was hiding out in until he was escorted to a car with his belongings by law enforcement.  Royce's spokesperson told 10News that rainy weather was to blame for the festival's poor attendance.

"He's working it out.  That's all I can tell you," said the spokesperson.

Several acts, including the bands, "One Foot Down" and "The Parrot Brothers," and country rocker Jimmie Van Zant, took to the stage knowing they aren't getting paid either.  Van Zant said they did it for the fans.

"Sometimes the show still has to go on. I feel really sad that a lot of the people put their time and effort in and not getting paid. I'm showing support cause I'm not getting paid," said Van Zant.

Fans were told just after 7pm, right before Van Zant took the state for what was to be the final show, that they were "pulling the plug" on the festival. 

THP was called to the scene around 4pm just in case reaction from the news of the shut-down got out of hand.  Campbell County Sheriffs, Anderson County Sherriffs, and LaFollette Police were also called to the scene.  THP eventually backed out and staged at a gas station across the street from the venue.

The shut-down didn't sit well with many fans.

"They should reimburse us.  Our time. Our gas. I took a day off of work," said Christy Dalton.

A group of workers told 10News they have already retained a local attorney.  They said plan to sue Mr. Royce to get paid. 

Previous Story:

A three-day country music festival in Campbell County has been cut short.

"SuperTwang" concert promoter Hal Royce pulled the plug on his event just after seven o'clock Saturday night.

Through a spokesperson, Royce told 10News the cancellation was due to weather. However, numerous event workers said they are not going to be paid and that ticket sales were very low. Those workers said they have hired an attorney and plan to sue.

10News has a crew in Campbell County and will have the very latest on this story as it becomes available.

 

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