Some Bands Claim They Were Ever Paid From The Never Say Never Festival
On March 16 in Mission, TX, the Never Say Never Festival went down. The lineup included bands such as Deftones, The Devil Wears Prada, Beartooth, Blessthefall, and a bunch of others. Allegedly the bands had to pay a 20% merch rate to the festival, and it looks like some of the bands who played the show haven't been paid yet…
Had a blast playing yesterday. The promoter is a crook but the fans made the set fun at least. Thanks everyone ✌?️
— Ryan Neff (@whosryanneff) March 17, 2016
Bummed we only got to play 3 songs tonight. Bummed about technical difficulties. Bummed a bunch of bands didn't get paid. Bummer day.
— OG Red Foreman (@Oshie_Bichar) March 17, 2016
The real kicker comes in when the promoter George Culberson spoke to The Monitor and essentially says he hasn't paid the bands because he can't afford to right now.
Rumors circled that night of the promoters fleeing the festival to avoid confrontation, but Culberson said he stayed to speak to the bands face to face, and co-owner Zar Castillo made phone calls from an office on the festival grounds.
“It does look really bad, and I feel terrible about the whole situation, but this was the route we had to take in order to take care of everyone,” Culberson said. “This was the lowest attended and most expensive festival that we’ve had, and we have to wait for all the finances to come in.”
He said they have to wait until Ticketfly credits them for all the ticket sales this week before they can start writing checks and making wire transfers to the bands. In an interview Monday, Culberson and Castillo told The Monitor they pay thousands of dollars out of pocket every year to fund the festival, but it was justified by the love and passion for what they do.
“Our main focus was to bring artists to the valley that don’t normally tour here so music fans didn’t have to travel north to see the bands they loved,” Castillo said. “And I believe that was something we accomplished since the very first NSN.”
It's not the bands' fault that nobody came though, and it's not their fault that you can't pay them up front. Isn't the whole point of doing a job to get paid for the job you do? Maybe there's another dimension to this story we're not seeing just yet, but right now Culberson doesn't look so great.