Common Pleas Judge William J. Ober has threatened to file suit over the bash. The judge lives across the road from the Westmoreland Fairgrounds where the Rolling Rock Town Fair, headlined by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, is scheduled to take place August 5.
Ober filed legal notice in April that he intended to sue Latrobe Brewing and the Westmoreland Fair Association, owners of the fairgrounds near Latrobe, Penn. The actual suit has yet to be filed, and Ober’s attorney, Bernard P. Matthews Jr., has refused to specify what the complaint would ask the courts to do, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Rolling Rock marketing director Darin Wolf told the Post-Gazette that the show will go on as scheduled, despite the judge’s threat.
“It will be the biggest event in Western Pennsylvania,” he said.
The Chili Peppers are scheduled to join Filter, Fuel, Moby, Our Lady Peace, and Marcy Playground on the fest’s main stage. Local favorites The Clarks, Fern, Reville and UPO perform on the second stage, according to the Post-Gazette. Organizers have included carnival rides and a petting zoo to create a family-style event.
The controversy arose when Ober, who reportedly owns 131 acres of farmland adjacent to the fairgrounds, determined that “up to 40,000” people could potentially cram onto the fairgrounds, despite Latrobe Brewing’s pledge to sell no more than 25,000 tickets. According to Wolf, 15,000 tickets have been sold at $33 apiece, in honor of the unexplained “33” that appears on Rolling Rock beer bottles.
Matthews said Ober arrived at the 40,000 figure by adding promotional ticket giveaways to the 25,000 maximum sales figure.
“You have to question whether they are capable of handling that total,” he said.
At a news conference May 24, Wolf said Latrobe Brewing officials had offered to meet directly with Ober to discuss his concerns, but said, “he has refused to meet with us.”
Matthews said he and another Ober attorney had scheduled a meeting with Latrobe officials, but the company canceled when it discovered Ober would not attend.
Wolf said all necessary permits for the concert have been acquired, and “it will take place.”