Following the official announcement this morning that the highly-anticipated Roxodus Music Festival had been cancelled, questions and disbelief are the prevailing sentiment for those at the Edenvale Airport and those who had planned at being vendors for the event.
The mega rock festival that was set to see performers such as Aerosmith, Kid Rock, Nickelback and others rock the Edenvale Airport July 11 to 14 was cancelled by the organizers this morning after days of rumours the event was in trouble.
The statement by MF Live, the company putting on the four-day concert, stated that due to heavy rains this spring, the property at Edenvale Airport wouldn’t be ready in time to accommodate large crowds and performance stages. The statement said "information about ticket refunds will be released shortly."
Organizers said via email that “Roxodus representatives will not be available for interviews today.”Milan Kroupa, the owner of the Edenvale airport, was asked about the promoter's reasoning.
“It’s a good excuse,” said a laughing Kroupa.
Kroupa owns the majority of the grounds, but said MF Live and its principal, Fab Loranger, purchased 137 acres at the east end of the airport in late 2018. In a meeting yesterday, he tried to sell it back, said Kroupa.
“I spoke with Fab yesterday and that is when I found out they were cancelling the event,” said Kroupa. “He asked me if I wanted to buy the land. I don’t know about that right now. Right now, we feel bad for the people who bought tickets. People calling the airport may think it’s us, but we didn’t have anything to do with the show.”
Our reporter was given a tour of the property to see where the concert was going to be set up. Kurt Bernt, an employee of the airport, said the rain excuse doesn’t add up.
“That’s a bunch of bunk,” said Bernt. “I do know that we received lots of rain previously that did delay some work, but any future rain is not an issue. They spent millions building drainage for it and clearing all the necessary land. We’ve had rain for sure, but not that much to need to cancel the event.”
Bernt went on to say he doesn’t agree with the idea that this was a scam, just an event that went wrong.
“I’ve heard people calling it a scam from the start, but I don’t believe that. I think it all just went south in the last little while,” said Bernt. “They were working on the grounds up until last Wednesday when all of a sudden it went quiet and they pulled out, no one was working out there anymore.”
There are reports that the Huronia West OPP is investigating the cancellation. The OPP did not return calls on this matter in time for publication.
Andrew Kinnear, who heads up Yellofruit, which makes non-dairy frozen dessert, said he was looking forward to debuting his unique offerings at an outdoor summer festival.
Now he is not only worried about his pre-made product but also the money he spent to be involved with the event.
“As a vendor, months ago we paid our fees and paid for hydro and water, and then to find out all of a sudden in a press release that basically has no information other than the event is cancelled," said Kinnea. "We paid a couple thousand dollars for a vendor location and then had to pay for hydro, we’re a few thousand bucks into this. I hope we get it back, as a small business that is hugely impactful for our summer.”
Clearview Township Mayor Doug Measures said he is disappointed, but isn’t ready to start pointing the blame for the cancellation of event he, too, was excited about.
“You can easily start spinning the blame, but what folks should know is the owners are taxpayers in the township, they own the property,” said Measures. “I treated them as taxpayers and people who were developers basically who wanted to bring something new to our township.
"Personally, I am or was a ticket holder. I had mine before they even announced Aerosmith, so it is an unfortunate set of circumstances all around.”