A Roxodus for none of us
On July 2nd, the day before Roxodus was officially cancelled due to soggy conditions…people came out of the woodwork to counter that excuse and said the field was bone dry…I was still considering the purchase of a single-day ticket on the Thursday night to see this lady.
Back in the fall of 1983, I interview Lee Aaron for my college newspaper. Got to know her. A sweet young lady back then and now a Mom of two.
The Metal Queen was scheduled to play on the opening night of Roxodus, along with Collective Soul, Big Wreck, The Headpins, Honeymoon Suite, The Headstones and Nickelback.
Roxodus was announced in November of 2018 with Kid Rock, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Alice Cooper, Cheap Trick and many other rock acts. Aerosmith was added in April of 2019.
To be held at the Edenvale Airport. A venue that has never hosted a music festival, located in the middle of nowhere. On a two-lane highway in Clearview Township, between the small town of Stayner and the City of Barrie.
Clearview Mayor Dough Measures has been quoted as saying that, from the get-go, he doubted such an ambitious festival could actually happen in his neck of the woods. He hoped he was wrong and so did I.
All these major acts are playing a tiny airport?
With promoters who had only given us the Wasaga Beach Motorcycle Rally? Booking an Aerosmith or AC/DC tribute band, fine. Lining up the real deal at a cost estimated at up to $4-million? Plus all those other bands, land purchases, vendors, permits, tree removals, bylaw compliances, advertising and the staggering cost of putting on an event this size.
Was it all a scam like the Fyre Festival?
We won’t know for a long time but for now I’d say the organizers overreached by a Sweet Home Alabama mile. Expecting to sell over 40,000 tickets (they sold half that number) to a 40-plus audience used to seeing Skynyrd, Cheap Trick and Alice Cooper at Casino Rama, in the comfort of a theatre setting with booze and gambling close by, and not having to worry about parking or camping or baking in the sun?
Peter Frampton, who is 69, was on the bill and slated for Saturday night. Part of his farewell tour, due to a degenerative muscle disease. His fans have raged on social media because Roxodus would have been their last chance to see him play.
And with the Rolling Stones playing 20 miles away, the week prior? Hmm, spend $200 or more to see Mick and the boys or up to $600 for Roxodus? Burl’s Creek, a venue with a track record for hosting big concerts or Edenvale? The latter is only known for an aerodrome and a restaurant called The Hangar.
Eventbrite, the tickets agent, is paying out of its own pocket to reimburse Roxodus ticket buyers. They’ll go after the festival organizers, who will likely claim bankruptcy. We lost $18-million, the money is long gone.
So, sorry Karen Greening (Aaron’s real name, anyone who has met her calls her Karen). I had hoped to find my way backstage to say hello after all these years. The last time we met was at the Harbour Inn in Owen Sound, in the late ’80s.
I hope you and the band got at least a deposit, since the Roxodus promoters have said they paid the acts up front.
I wanted Roxodus to happen. I always had a feeling it was too good to be true and sadly, I was right.