The original Humboldt Jams poster advertised the show at the fairgrounds in Ferndale. It's now taking place at Redwood Acres in Eureka.
Pure Entertainment announced on its Facebook page that tonight's show has been canceled after the headliner apparently pulled out for unknown reasons.
"Unfortunately Kid Ink will not be able to make it tonight," the site states. "Since the headliner won't be able to make it, I feel rescheduling the show to a later date is appropriate."
The post goes on to state that tickets will be honored for the future show, and the scheduled opener for tonight's Humboldt James at the Redwood Acres Fairgrounds, Adriel Diaz, will be putting on a free show. Nonetheless, the backlash was instant, with commenters demanding refunds for their $75 tickets and lambasting the promoter for a series of changes to the show's venue, schedule and lineup.
"OMFG!! How do i get my money back? This is redic. ... I'm done," read one.
In show business, the old saying is “the show must go on.”
And it’s a saying taken to heart by promoters of the Humboldt Jams Fest 2014 featuring Kid Ink, E-40 and Adriel Diaz, which is now scheduled to take place tonight at Redwood Acres Fairgrounds in Eureka.
Pure Entertainment, announced through its Facebook page Wednesday that the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control is not allowing the venue, or outside vendors, to serve alcohol. The unexpected news came just three days before the all-ages concert — which has already seen its share of hurdles.
Originally, the festival was scheduled to be held at the Humboldt County Fairgrounds in Ferndale. But according to the Ferndale Enterprise, promoter Tara Johnson received a letter from fair association General Manager Richard Conway, dated Oct. 20, stating the concert was canceled. That left Johnson scrambling to find another venue with less than three weeks until the show.
“Nobody wants this concert to happen,” Johnson said. “It’s been a fight since day one. I had an agreement (with the Humboldt County Fairgrounds board) and then they canceled.”
According to the Enterprise, Johnson said she had a verbal agreement with Conway since the summer, however a formal contract was never drawn up. Pure Entertainment began selling tickets for the event, prior to finalizing a contract and now, according to the Enterprise, Johnson is mulling a lawsuit against the fair association.
The board discussed ticket sales at its Sept. 29 meeting, but the letter reportedly indicated Conway was unaware of the sales. In the wake of the board discussion, a host of concerns sprouted up in Ferndale about the concert, ranging from event security to its overlap with Ferndale High School's homecoming event.
Conway declined to comment for this story, saying, “with the pending litigation, we do not have any comment at this time.”
Johnson said the change of venue has hindered the number of tickets sold. The Pure Entertainment Facebook page indicated that the online tickets were sold out, but Johnson said she has had to spend more money to change her print and radio advertisements and the additional cost to change locations from the fairgrounds in Ferndale to Redwood Acres in Eureka.
“(The change of venue) is helping because it’s more centrally located,” Johnson said. “But we had expectations of 2,500 (concert goers). By the time the concert starts we hope for 1,500. I’m losing tons of money.”
Johnson said that the fairgrounds was not going to charge her to rent the space, and instead would take the parking proceeds. However, she had to pay an additional $4,000 to rent out Redwood Acres.
The other issue the festival presented in Ferndale was the police department’s security concerns.
Johnson confirmed that Ferndale police chief Bret Smith wanted her to provide more than 30 security guards to help regulate the event. Humboldt County Sheriff Mike Downey, who was involved in the discussions while the concert was supposed to take place at the fairgrounds, said the sheriff’s department will not be patrolling the concert that was originally scheduled from 3 to 11 p.m. but will now see doors open at 7 p.m.
“I’m not as concerned because of the location,” Downey said, adding that Redwood Acres is “better suited” and has more expertise.
He also confirmed that the promoter, Pure Entertainment, has its own security plan and that his “officers are aware of the concert, but not directly involved.”
Despite all the obstacles Johnson and her new company have encountered, she is still determined to bring large acts to the area so residents don’t have to travel four to five hours for a concert experience.
“I’m definitely moving forward,” Johnson said. “I’m want to bring music to Humboldt County. Humboldt County deserves good music.”