The first date of the Wild Wild West 4-H benefit, July 29, was to feature McEntire and Wade Kimes but McEntire’s camp canceled citing a contract dispute. Then McCready canceled her July 30 performance for the same reason.

Rod Essig, the CAA Nashville agent for both canceled acts, told Pollstar the organizers didn’t come up with the deposit by the deadline.

“The bottom line is the presentation of my artists was not going to be done on a professional level,” he said. ” I mean, if you can’t come up with the first 50 percent, you can’t come up with the second 50 percent.”

Event organizers Carolyn and Keith Smith apparently thought advance tickets would sell quick enough to raise the money for the down payment by the deadline. “We didn’t know everyone waits until the last minute to buy their tickets,” Carolyn Smith told the Dodge City Daily Globe. “There were just not enough tickets sold in advance to make the down payment.”

Following the cancellation, the organizers sent out a press release stating that McEntire’s show canceled due to slow ticket sales – a claim the national press picked up and ran with.

Essig concluded that the Smiths are novices when it comes to the concert business. “I think their hearts are in the right place but they do not have any idea what they’re doing,” he said. “We’re rolling down the road with a ton of trucks and all this stuff and it’s just too expensive to stay out there …

“Benefits are not a big problem to do but if it’s not done properly, it shouldn’t be done.”

Essig said the production company had not been paid either. He was afraid that if the benefit fell apart, organizers wouldn’t be able to refund tickets.

The Smiths reportedly tried to persuade McEntire’s camp to keep the date but to no avail.

However, when the next night’s headliner, Sawyer Brown, canceled early this week, the organizers were successful in getting band reps to change their mind.

Sawyer Brown’s team “decided in good faith to give them more time to meet their obligations,” publicist Ronna Rubin told Pollstar. So, as of press time, the July 30 concert was still on.

The non-profit event is to benefit 4-H leadership programs. Kimes was reportedly moved to the Sawyer Brown-headlined show, which is also scheduled to feature The Kinleys.