Parent company of cancelled Roxodus festival files for bankruptcy
Solarina Ho, with a report from CTV's Your Morning
Published Monday, July 15, 2019 9:45AM EDT
Last Updated Monday, July 15, 2019 3:49PM EDT
MF Live Inc., the company behind the Roxodus music festival that was cancelled days ahead of the Ontario event, filed for bankruptcy on Friday, according to legal documents posted on the website of accounting and business advisory firm Grant Thornton LLP.
In documents signed by Fabien Loranger, MF Live Inc.listed cash assets totalling just over $154,000, and said it owed more than $18.1 million. According to the documents, more than $7 million was owed to more than 185 unsecured creditors, while another $11.1 million was owed to contractor Taurus Site Services Inc., for which Loranger is listed as the contact on the Fort Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce site.
Loranger is the director for one of Taurus’ subsidiaries, Taurus Investment Group Inc., which was among the companies that signed an agreement with Clearview Township to hold the event. Taurus owns the land on which part of the festival was supposed to be held.
The big four-day classic rock festival was to take place from lastThursday to Sunday at Evandale Aerodrome in Clearview Township near Barrie, Ont., but was cancelled on July 3.
According to the firm Grant Thornton, the designated bankruptcy trustee, MF Live’s “sole purpose” was to organize the Roxodus event, and it was their understanding that the event was cancelled because it did not sell enough tickets to cover the expected costs. The trustee said wet weather also made preparations challenging and prevented organizers from being able to host a safe event. The trustee said more information would be provided in the preliminary report to creditors.
Even before the plug was pulled, vendors like Skydive Wasaga, which operates out of the Evandale airport, suspected things were not coming together as expected.
“About six weeks to a month out, I guess I kind of noticed a slowdown. And two weeks out, there was nothing,” Leslie Farkas, who runs Skydive Wasaga, told CTV’s Your Morning, adding that he did not believe the problems were weather-related.
Concertgoers, some travelling from overseas, paid more than $639, excluding taxes and fees, for a four-day VIP pass to see artists including Aerosmith, Alice Cooper, Kid Rock, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Blondie, and Nickelback perform. Attendees wanting to camp at the event forked over as much as $1,600 for a lakeside spot.
Meanwhile, companies like Eventbrite Inc, which has said it would refund tickets purchased through itssite, are owed $5 million, according to the creditor documents. Other notable creditors include Star Security, which is owed more than $500,000. Nature’s Call and Porta Kleen, two portable toilet rental firms, are owed more than $250,000 and $84,000 respectively.
The Township of Clearview is listed as being owed more than $6,700, but the town’s mayor said last week the total could exceed $25,000. Skydive Wasaga is not on the creditors’ list, but Farkas says MF Live repeatedly reassured him itwould compensate his company for any lost business and said a compensation agreement had been drawn up by lawyers.
Officials are also now investigating MF Live, which could face fines and charges following reports that wetlands were drained or filled and some 18 hectares of forest cleared without permits or prior approval.
The first creditors’meeting will be held on July 30 in Toronto, with notices sent out to all creditors on Monday.