Shed Audit Shows Ticket Printing Operation

The search for outside management for  near Atlanta has taken on new urgency with the discovery of more than two dozen violations of ticketing policy, allegedly by employees, including a ticket-printing practice that sometimes overcrowded the 5,300-capacity venue. 

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Wolf Creek is currently managed by Fulton County, which recently released an audit showing the violations including the ticket-printing operation, which generated complimentary tickets to thousands of people.

The audit also revealed cash-management issues as well as preferential treatment of some vendors, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Cash was reportedly held for up to three months without being deposited, and because the same employee was tasked with collecting, recording and depositing money, there was no oversight of reporting – leading to alleged misappropriation of funds, such money taken in at the box office being used as petty cash, the paper reports.

The audit reportedly also showed that county purchasing requirements as well as state laws were circumvented by paying contracts in excess of limits that required competitive bidding. A local promoter, J.D. Entertainment of Atlanta, was also given “exclusive access” to partner with Fulton County on events, which allegedly prevented other promoters from operating at Wolf Creek, according to the Journal-Constitution.

“There’s no sugar-coating it,” Fulton County Chairman John Eaves acknowledged to the paper. “There were quite a few things that were unearthed.”

It’s expected the problems will end with a new, outside facility operator. The search was begun before the audit problems came to light and three companies, including Live Nation, have bid on a contract to manage Wolf Creek Amphitheatre.

“It does provide some degree of legitimacy to why we need to do this,” Eaves told the paper. “The timing of all of it is, I think, good.”

In addition to Live Nation, KDS Entertainment and a combined proposal from Platform Promotions and Plan It Green have been submitted. Details of the bids have not been released, but the county’s request for proposals reportedly require at least 20 concerts or special events per year. A decision on the management bids is expected in the next week.

Fulton County Manager Dick Anderson indicates a naming rights partner is also being sought. “We were delighted with responses to the Request for Proposals, and believe the new private management model will bring substantial benefits in terms of cultural offerings and improved financials, with none of the risk of being in the entertainment business,” Anderson told the Journal-Constitution.