From the pages of
Sublette Examiner
Volume 2, Number 4 - April 25, 2002
brought to you online by Pinedale Online

Financial woes plague Blues Festival promoter

by Cat Urbigkit

Financial woes plague Blues Festival promoter

Are the economic problems of an upcoming music festival promoter much ado about nothing to do with the festival, or are they significant to whether the festival will actually happen and vendors will be paid?

The Second Annual Blues Festival is slated for June 29 and 30 in Pinedale, with a lineup of 16 blues bands, and Moose Productions of Pinedale the producer and organizer.

Last week, Martin McIntyre of Moose Productions approached the county joint tourism promotion board for $2,500 to promote the festival, to be confronted by accusations of unpaid bills and lawsuits resulting from last yearís bash.

Most of the debt and financial problems have nothing to do with the festival, McIntyre said. As for the $2,500 approved for promoting the festival, McIntyre said "thatís money which they can keep." He said that money was generated from last yearís festival, since he paid for 50 rooms for two nights.

"They can keep it," McIntyre said, noting he applied for the money to make sure the board was promoting tourism as they are supposed to.

"I donít need their money," McIntyre said, adding that he could knock on doors and sell tickets to the event to generate revenue.

"I went through the motions so I could give their money back because I donít want it," McIntyre said. "Iím done with these people."

With all the public controversy at the tourism board meeting, and attention focused on McIntyre and not the festival, McIntyre said Tuesday that if he didnít already have the 16 bands lined up, with deposits already made in some cases, "this festival wouldnít be happening here, it would be happening somewhere else."

McIntyre said of all the members of the tourism board, John Godfrey was the lone naysayer, and is the only one who does not own a business that stands to benefit from the festival.

But the tourism board did do its job, McIntyre said, by granting Moose Productions the maximum amount allowed by the board. The festival is worth far more than the $2,500, he said, bringing in $200,000 to $300,000 last year and probably two or three times that amount this year.

Initially a supporter of the festival, tourism board member Godfrey said, "The more the whirlwind was created around this sole promoter, the more I became concerned as to whether we were making a good decision ... by funding somebody who had so many questions surfacing about his integrity."

The few unpaid bills Godfrey was led to believe existed, turned out to be substantially more, he said.

"The number grew," Godfrey said. "It grew from just a few bills ... then I started finding out that there were large sums.

"In my own mind, I began to question whether he was telling the truth," Godfrey said. "If everybody locally made money on the deal except him, Iím having trouble finding somebody that did." McIntyre said he does have outstanding debts totaling between $12,000 to $16,000 from last yearís festival.

According to district court records, Hughes Productions Inc. sued McIntyre for unpaid invoices from last yearís blues festival. District Court Judge Nancy Guthrie ordered McIntyre to pay $11,870 left unpaid from the $31,915 bill. McIntyre said in an interview Tuesday that he had a $15,000 cost estimate from the company, but received a bill for $32,000. McIntyre said he paid the company about $22,000, and they took him to court and won the remaining $12,000 when he didnít appear in court.

"They wonít be doing the sound and lights this year," McIntyre said, noting he has been told he was overcharged about 150 percent.

Will Hampton of Green River Graphics said he sued McIntyre for $4,500 of promotional products, won the case and was paid. But Hampton claims that the logo used to promote the festival is a copyrighted product he owns and Moose Productionís use of that logo is a clear infringement on that copyright.

A recent lawsuit settlement agreement in which McIntyre, as president of MJM Capital Inc., is to pay $31,896 to LaJolla Cove Investors isnít relevant to the festival because it involved a stock deal, McIntyre said.

"That was business," McIntyre said. "It has nothing to do with the blues festival."

McIntyre is also subject to a mortgage foreclosure for defaulting on a $150,000 loan to Community First National Bank. Again, this has nothing to do with the festival, but has been cited as a reason for concern, McIntyre said.

Although there have been some claims that at least one local motel is still owed money, McIntyre said, "All the motels were paid in full."

A felony check fraud case has been filed in circuit court against McIntyre. The case alleges McIntyre drew a $13,000 check on his Bank One of Ohio account and deposited it in the Bank of Pinedale in his Bullmoose Strategic Consulting account, although there were not enough funds to cover the check.

McIntyre said he couldnít talk about the case other than to say that it is "totally unrelated to the Blues Festival." McIntyre added that he is neither an officer nor director of Bullmoose, but "Iím an employee."

McIntyre attorney Ken McLaughlin filed a motion April 22 to disqualify Sublette County Attorney Dale Aronson from the felony check fraud case after an April 19 altercation between Aronson and McIntyre at LaVoieís Brewery.

According to the motion, "While the parties were outside, matters escalated into a confrontation. While the participants disagree as to who said what, both agree that a threat was uttered by one party toward the other."

According to the motion, "the fact remains that a confrontation did take place, and that it got quite ugly, involving at least one threat of violence."

"Whether Mr. Aronson was the perpetrator or the victim, of the threat of violence mentioned above, it seems clear that he must now harbor ill feelings toward the defendant," the motion stated.

"If I have the nerve to do this again at nobody elseís expense, it (his financial situation) shouldnít even be a consideration" McIntyre said.

"Even though Iíve got some problems, Iím benefiting the community economically," he said.

"The Blues Festival is happening," McIntyre said.

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