Escapade Funds, Founder Disappear

The recent Escapade Music Festival in Ottawa, Ontario, was, by all accounts, a success. But the disappearance of hundreds of thousands of dollars the day after the electronic event has cast a dark shadow over this year’s fest.

An investigation is currently under way and police were expected to issue a warrant at press time for one of the founders of DNA Presents, which stages the festival.

Escapade reportedly drew 15,000 to Ottawa Stadium to see DJs including Avicii, Alesso and Eric Prydz June 30 to July 1. Tickets ranged from $99 for a single day to $219 for a two-day VIP pass.

DNA co-founder Nick Vachon went missing July 2 – right around the time that a safe at the stadium was discovered to have been emptied of more than $600,000, according to the Ottawa Citizen.

His partners were shocked, to say the least.

“We went there to finalize our accounting and we opened up the vault and it was empty,” DNA’s Michael O’Farrell told the paper. “At first we thought it was maybe a misunderstanding and that our partner would have taken the money for safekeeping.

“But as time went on we went to his hotel room and saw that he wasn’t there, and went to his apartment and saw that he wasn’t there, we realized it was more serious than we thought.”

O’Farrell added that he and Vachon became partners in DNA Presents about five years ago and brought other partners aboard two years ago.

He plans to meet with the company’s accountant and lawyer to determine where the festival stands and what the loss could mean for future events if the money is not recouped, the Citizen reported.