Concert for Washington tornado victims falls flat - KMSP-TV

Concert for Washington tornado victims falls flat

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

What was supposed to be a charity concert to help raise money for victims of the devastating tornado that hit Washington, Illinois last November, has turned into a publicity nightmare for the rock band Warrant.

The group rose to fame in the 80's and 90's, and had a hit song called Cherry Pie, but after bailing on a concert Saturday night lead singer Robert Mason was eating crow Monday night.

“I want to make this up to everybody. Like I said, we're playing another show later on in the summer I think it's Labor Day weekend and I have arranged with the promoter that's a very reputable promoter to honor all of those tickets,” Mason told FOX 32’s Craig Wall in a phone interview.

The concert was originally planned as an outdoor event in Washington, but two weeks ago, after getting some complaints from residents, city officials pulled the permit. The promoter, Chris Lancaster, contacted the owners of Freakster’s Roadhouse in Pontiac to see if they could host the event instead.

“It was supposed to be one big benefit, one big happy day to raise money for two good causes,” said Betsy Kuyper.

She, along with her husband, former Chicago radio personality Freak, own Freakster’s Roadhouse. They had already planned a fundraiser concert for Operation Delta Dogs on Saturday night, so they saw a great opportunity to add a nationally known band in Warrant and help both groups.

But shortly before the band members were to take the stage, they bailed.

“Unfortunate all the way around. Fans lose they came out to see a great show, they kind of get excited, plan for the evening see one of their favorite bands, that didn't happen, the charities lose, no money was raised,” said Freak. “You know you would think in the spirit of things, a big charity, you're already here, can work something out, apparently that just didn't work out.”

The cancellation had ticket holders furious. Among those there Saturday night, PJ Griffiths.

“If you were able to check their Facebook page on Sunday, it was blowing up with a horrible publicity. Since then they've deleted it all, Griffiths said.

FOX 32 texted the tour manager for comment and a short time letter the band posted a lengthy and defensive message on its Facebook page blaming the original promoter for not paying them in full as the contract stipulated.

“Warrant has been screwed by shady promoters enough times in the past to recognize when a deal has gone awry. This was just one of those unfortunate BUSINESS deals gone bad, no ill-intent toward the victims of the tragic events for which this event was held in support of,” the post read in part.

An hour later the band’s tour manager called Freakster’s Roadhouse to apologize. Lead singer Robert Mason then got on the phone and tried to do some damage control with FOX 32 News.

“If at any time during the time prior to the show, our promoter would have been upfront and honest with us, we would have done the show for less, I would have done the show for nothing,” Mason claimed.

Mason said the show they are planning for the end of the summer will also help out the Washington tornado victims.

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