Rockesha Stopped

Fans at a rock festival in Waukesha, Wis., got a surprise June 21 when organizers called things off just a few songs into the concert.

The Rockesha festival, at the , was scheduled to feature FirehouseLita FordQuiet Riot

The Rockesha festival, at the  and Mr. Big’s Eric Martin. But the promoter of the show, Splat Entertainment, apparently got sidelined by weak sales and didn’t have the money to pay performers the day of the concert.

VH-1 VJ and radio host Eddie Trunk, who’d been hired to emcee the event, tweeted the night of the festival that “turn out was poor, promoter lost money & didn’t pay bands fully, bands leave show done,” adding, “promoter says he will make good on all so let’s see. Again this was not my event, I am in same boat as bands.”

Officials for the Expo Center told WISN-TV the venue had checked out the promoter’s references and found no red flags.

Though about 35 people bought tickets for the concert at the gate, the promoter needed about 900 walk-ups to cover the bands, the station said. In a statement on the Splat Entertainment website, promoter Rob Lyons apologized, explaining he was “put in a bad situation by a business associate” and decided to press forward with the show to keep from losing “over $41,750.00 in deposits already paid to the bands, stage, fairgrounds, etc.”

“We kept moving forward because everyone told me this state will wait until the last minute to purchase tickets, that was our hope, didn’t happen,” he wrote. “We spent almost $12,000.00 in advertising via 3 radio stations, paid prints, facebook boosts, etc. All of this information is verifiable.”

Lyons said he is working on a plan to start reimbursing “all of the fans who had their weekends ruined over this. Nobody feels worse than I do, my heart aches for everyone, I had people that flew in for this and this fell apart, I will never be able to apologize enough.”