Napa's BottleRock festival vendors still looking to get paid

The BottleRock music festival in Napa.
July 23, 2013 6:49:23 PM PDT
The financial fallout from a huge music festival in Napa in May is still not resolved.

Tuesday the city council is about hold its first report about the impact of the BottleRock Napa Valley festival and the multiple vendors and workers who still haven't been paid.

It was a hit at the time but BottleRock has since become a bust for so many involved. The big-name bands got paid, but many others did not.

At the time, complaints about noise, congestion and garbage seemed to be the biggest issues around the festival. But now, two-months after the music died down, it's about the hundreds of people who worked the event and still haven't been paid.

"I put some video games and pinball games backstage for the artist's entertainment," said San Francisco's Julian Chatneuff. "I dream of being paid. I don't know if I expect to because mine is probably the last person to be paid for the entertainment and I'm probably at the bottom of the food chain."

BottleRock owes him about $2,500.

"We've heard a lot of talk about people who are owed money. Some of those people have chosen to not do anything at this point. Some are taking it through a civil process," said Napa Police Department Captain Steve Potter.

The latest estimate is that festival promoters Gabriel Meyers and Bob Vogt have more than $2 million in outstanding debt. Several Bay Area companies have filed lawsuits and at least two have reported bounced checks from BottleRock, and the city of Napa is still owed $106,000.

"We are very, very close to partnering with someone well-known; a substantial partner that would allow us to honor our obligations," said Vogt in a statement to ABC7 News.

Vogt blames a Napa Valley restaurant group for his troubles, claiming it owes him millions of dollars for food and beverage sales at the festival.

But the managing partner for that group says Vogt grossly overestimated actual sales and that Vogt has been given a full accounting.

"We're not going to let Napa crush us like they crush their wine," Nathan Trivers of Point Richmond.

His establishment did all the backstage catering for BottleRock. He's still owed more than $180,000.

"I still hope that it will get resolved soon. But since all this stuff is coming out and bad checks and fraudulent charges and lack of payment, it just, like anything, once it goes into the court system, nothing happens too fast," he said.

Tuesday night, city leaders will hear about the impacts of the festival, including the financial problems. Tickets are already on sale for next year's BottleRock, but the city may not offer its support for that event if all the bills from this year don't get paid.

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