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Late cancellation of music festival leaves bad blood in Two Harbors

Bring Me The News logo Bring Me The News 8/12/2022 BringMeTheNews
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The cancellation announcement says the promoter walked away from the gig after being harassed by some local residents.

The sudden cancellation of a summer concert is the latest cause of finger pointing among locals in Two Harbors. 

County music band Shenandoah was set to perform next Saturday at the Rockin' the Docks summer concert at the Two Harbors Depot. 

Lovin' Lake County, the county's official tourism marketing organization, announced Thursday the show had been cancelled after the event organizer was "treated so poorly" by a local business and prospective beverage vendor that they "opted to pull out of the event, making it impossible to proceed." 

The statement produced backlash from Re-sign and Recall, a grassroots organization which campaigned for the recall of controversial Two Harbors Mayor Chris Swanson, which was successful thanks to an overwhelming “yes to recall” vote on Tuesday.

In a statement, the group alleged poor ticket sales had prompted the cancellation and expressed displeasure that an out-of-county businesses was approached to provide service at the event. 

The post had many community members questioning whether or not Lovin' Lake County had been honest about the circumstances of the cancelation. 

On Friday, Lovin' Lake County's Board of Directors released a follow-up statement to "dispel misinformation and rumors" about the cancellation. 

"It was cancelled due to the concert promoter pulling out after some local individuals began harassing the promoter and their business partners, directly and online through social media to the point that the promoter walked away," the board stated. "Without a promoter, the event cannot take place as they provide all of the assets needed." 

Janelle Jones is the founder and president of Lovin' Lake County, according to state records. 

The board said ticket sales had nothing to do with the cancelation and a business from Duluth was only considered to provide beverage service at the event after three local vendors declined. 

"Lovin’ Lake County made it clear from the beginning that a local option is preferred," the statement reads, continuing the state another local purveyor was offered the opportunity after saying they'd not been considered. 

"However, that establishment never replied or completed the process, but rather began acting out against the promoter," the board wrote, adding they shared the circumstances of the cancelation Thursday in hopes of the story being "a wake-up call for everyone to begin treating each other with dignity and respect." 

"This is an unfortunate situation for all as everyone now loses out," the statement continues. "Lovin’ Lake County has supported many local businesses, including the vendor involved with the negative treatment of the promoter with multiple grants in recent months, event support and regular advertising." 

The board also stated the cancelation had no connection to Swanson, former Mayor who was recalled on Tuesday. 

All tickets for the Shenandoah concert will be refunded.

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