Aerosmith, Nickelback and Kid Rock. No, that’s not the soundtrack for an energy drink commercial from 2003, but rather just a handful of the bands set to headline Ontario’s now-nonexistent Roxodus Fest, which after a suspicious cancellation and even more absurd fallout looks set to be catapulted into the festival fiasco pantheon alongside the likes of Fyre Fest and Woodstock 50.
Roxodus was set to take place next week, from July 11th to 14th, at the Edenvale Airport in Clearview Township – that is, until this past Wednesday, when the festival’s promoters, MFLive, announced out of nowhere that Roxodus was no more:
“Due to heavy rains in the Spring of 2019 the property at Edenvale Airport, Clearview Township will not be ready in time to accommodate large crowds and performance stages for the Roxodus Music Festival […] Our team has worked tirelessly to find a solution in which the show can go on but unfortunately we could not make it happen this year. […] Information about ticket refunds will be released shortly,” the initial statement from MFLive’s Fab Loranger read.
About those “heavy rains” and refunds, though…Despite organizers citing a stretch of unprecedentedly wet weather as the reason for the festival’s abrupt cancellation, would-be attendees were quick to question the excuse, not only pulling up an interview from June 11th where organizers praised the lack of weather-related setbacks…
— blowupmars (@blowupmars) July 3, 2019
It also should be noted that the only thing that added up between the weeks of sunny forecasts Clearview had experienced and Roxodus’ sudden, apparently weather-related cancellation was the festival’s refund policy, which suspiciously listed “inclement weather (regardless of severity)” as a disqualifying condition for refunds:
Tickets for the festival ran between $129 to $700. Now it’s seeming like no matter how much money festivalgoers dropped on wristbands, those funds are looking increasingly difficult to get back. Following Wednesday’s cancellation announcement, MFLive’s statement was altered to remove any previous mentions of refunds, along with the “Request Refund” page apparently being scrubbed from the Roxodus website. Amidst the chaos, ticket vendor Eventbrite is directing refund-seekers to contact MFLive directly – the only thing is, it appears that MFLive has stopped replying to all refund inquiries entirely:
@eventbrite I need your help with a refund. #Roxodus was unfortunately a scam, and I spent a lot of money on tickets and a campsite. I would like this refunded. Tried contacting MF Live and the organizers of Roxodus to no avail. #PLEASEHELP
— Meaghan Corkum (@MeaghanCorkum) July 5, 2019
#Roxodus #Roxoduscancelled @eventbrite …. in all of my payment confirmations its states…. "Eventbright will refund all payments if the purchased items have for any reason no longer become available!!!!" Any comments???? pic.twitter.com/N26Kyjqs02
— Misty (@beautifulchefmb) July 5, 2019
The idea of Roxodus being a total scam from the start doesn’t entirely track, though: according to radio DJ Alan Cross, who was set to MC the festival, all acts were apparently paid upfront – which, given the relative commercial appeal of the line-up, couldn’t have been an insignificant amount of money – with all bands supposedly “100% confirmed and ready to play.”
For those looking for a more plausible (and potentially juicier) explanation behind Roxodus’ sudden dissipation: yesterday, a report surfaced stating that a former employee of MFLive has been under investigation since last week by the Ontario Provincial Police.
Though they would not comment on whether or not the investigation specifically pertained to Roxodus’ cancellation, Sgt. Jason Folz stated “we were in the midst of an investigation last week, before the news came out of the festival’s cancellation. As difficult a time as this is for many who want answers, we would ask that everyone please appreciate that we have an investigation to run and can’t comment any further.”
If you count yourself amongst the unlucky who dropped their paycheck on a Roxodus ticket, at least take solace in the fact that your bad luck may be running out. Kitchener-Waterloo’s SlamFest, a two-hour drive from Roxodus’ hypothetical mainstage, has opened its doors to all jilted would-be Roxodians, offering free entry to anyone with a wristband.
“After hearing about the unfortunate events leading to the cancelled Roxodus Music Fest, Beyond Oz Productions and On The Grand want to bring the tight knit rock community together by offering free admission to SlamFest for all ticket holders,” organizers wrote in a press release. Slam Fest is held at Kitchener-Waterloo’s On the Grand amphitheater and features similar (albeit slightly heavier) headliners in Queensryche, Skid Row and Great White.
Though we’re still left with more questions than answers when it comes to the mysterious death of Roxodus, we’re sure that we’re only a couple of years out from a tell-all Netflix (or Crave TV, rather) documentary on the whole incident.