BottleRock Bills Hit $1.78 Million

Unpaid bills nearing the $2 million mark continue to roll up for BottleRock, the May 9-12 festival in Napa, Calif., a week after one transportation company filed suit and two weeks after the local stagehands’ union filed a claim on behalf of 142 unpaid workers.

National Entertainment Services West, a security and staffing company out of Rocklin, Calif., is owed $217,000, a company representative told the Napa Valley Register.

NES vice president Christy Feener told the paper she received two checks from BottleRock organizers to cover the company’s services; one on the fest’s opening day and the other two days later. Both bounced, according to the paper. A June 14 repayment deadline came and went without a reimbursement.

“We all know that when you do a first-time festival things can go a little crazy,” Feener told the paper. “We were willing to work with them if we had received a good-faith payment.” She added that NES is “hoping that they’ll come up with a solution before we have to take any further steps, but it’s not looking very promising.”

Neumann Enterprises, a parking vendor for the festival, has reportedly been paid about 25 percent to 30 percent of what it’s owed by BottleRock.

Owner John Neumann was a bit more circumspect about the dilemma, saying, “I don’t want to badmouth anybody. I don’t want to be that guy that doesn’t come back next year.”

Several sources, who didn’t wish to be identified, expressed a similar view to Pollstar.  It’s believed that organizers Bob Vogt and Gabe Meyers are working to find additional funds to settle accounts or even to sell the festival to a better-financed producer. Vogt told the paper an announcement of new investors is coming “fairly soon.”

But there are still people, companies and even the City of Napa awaiting payment. BottleRock has reportedly made a partial payment to the city but still owes $106,730, due July 11. And Napa Valley Expo, the fairground site of BottleRock, is still out $316,000.

The claim filed previously by IATSE for its unpaid crew comes to $630,000, and Bauer’s Intelligent Transportation filed suit June 17 seeking $524,239, bringing the total in arrears to more than $1.78 million.

In addition to outstanding payments for services, there’s the ongoing question of charity obligations. One dollar from each beverage served during the five days of BottleRock was to be earmarked for various charities, and it’s not at all clear that any of that money has been distributed.

Vogt and food and beverage company CP Cooks are apparently still at loggerheads over what F&B revenue, if any, is still owed to BottleRock. Vogt told the Register the festival is still owed “a very large amount of money.” After the $1 donation is deducted from sales, he told the paper BottleRock was to receive 67 percent of the net sales.

CP Cooks owner Cindy Pawlcyn disputes that account, saying the company is not withholding any money from BottleRock. She added that “we are working on it and we are trying to move it forward.”