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Never Say Never Fest Ends with Several Bands Allegedly Not Getting Paid

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On March 16th, the Never Say Never Fest went down at the Las Palmas Racetrack in Mission, TX. Performers included Deftones and The Devil Wears Prada. So you’d think that this would be a great financial opportunity for everyone involved, right?

Except several bands who played Never Say Never didn’t get paid, and, understandably, they ain’t too happy about it.

First, Miss May I’s Ryan Neff chimed in on TwitteR:

And then came tweets from Beartooth’s Oshie Bichar:

According to a piece in The Monitor, bands also had to pay a 20% merch rate to the festival. So not only did bands not get paid, they had to pay extra for the experience of being in glorious Mission.

When The Monitor got ahold of promoter George Culberson, he wasn’t especially helpful:

Rumors circled that night of the promoters fleeing the festival to avoid confrontation, but Culberson said he stayed to speak to the bands face to face, and co-owner Zar Castillo made phone calls from an office on the festival grounds.

“It does look really bad, and I feel terrible about the whole situation, but this was the route we had to take in order to take care of everyone,” Culberson said. “This was the lowest attended and most expensive festival that we’ve had, and we have to wait for all the finances to come in.”

He said they have to wait until Ticketfly credits them for all the ticket sales this week before they can start writing checks and making wire transfers to the bands. In an interview Monday, Culberson and Castillo told The Monitor they pay thousands of dollars out of pocket every year to fund the festival, but it was justified by the love and passion for what they do.

“Our main focus was to bring artists to the valley that don’t normally tour here so music fans didn’t have to travel north to see the bands they loved,” Castillo said. “And I believe that was something we accomplished since the very first NSN.”

I’m glad you brought the music to the fans, guys — the bands appear to be, too — but if you’re a bunch of dudes hauling way down to the southern-most part of Texas from Ohio or LA, and then you discover that you’re not getting paid until “finances come in,” you probably want to kick some teeth in. More so, it sounds like you waited until the last minute to figure any of this out. So yeah, I’d say it does look really bad.

Look, as we saw with Mayhem Fest last year, putting on a big festival with a lot of high-profile bands is incredibly expensive and difficult. That said, these mid- to lower-level bands are the ones that need that live show money the most. Don’t organize a festival if your financial plan is, Figure out the money when it shows up.

Anyway, good luck to those bands who got screwed. I hope you all get paid, and if now, well, add Culberson and Castillo to the list of Dirtbags Not To Trust.

[via The PRP]

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