Father of BottleRock co-founder among those suing festival

Documents: Organizers were loaned $100,000 on final day of show
2013-07-11T14:37:00Z 2014-05-01T14:35:19Z Father of BottleRock co-founder among those suing festivalJENNIFER HUFFMAN Napa Valley Register
July 11, 2013 2:37 pm  • 

The number of BottleRock lawsuits continues to grow. Emil “Corky” Meyers, the father of festival co-founder Gabe Meyers, is suing his son, the festival and others involved in the music event for $169,089.

Known festival debt now tops $2.5 million, according to the vendors who have spoken publicly.

According to a complaint filed in Napa County Superior Court on Wednesday, Emil I. Meyers, Teryl D. Meyers and Emil Meyers Construction, Inc. are suing festival co-founders Gabe Meyers, Bob Vogt, BR Festivals LLC and Willpower Entertainment LLC for breach of contract. Additional defendants may be named, the complaint noted.

It appears that even as bands were playing on the last day of the festival, organizers were in need of an immediate cash infusion. A copy of a secured loan term sheet dated May 12 — the day BottleRock ended — shows that Emil and Teryl Meyers lent BR Festivals LLC $100,000. The loan, due Aug. 14, was to be used “solely to pay off current liabilities past due,” said the contract.

An additional $69,088.91 is reportedly owed Emil Meyers Construction for three invoices. The firm provided dust abatement, fencing and labor for BottleRock at the Napa Expo, according to the June 24 invoice. The company then billed BottleRock for “last minute” additions such as removing and reinstalling fencing near the grandstand, the VIP area and along Silverado Trail, the invoice said. A “short term cash loan” of $5,000 is also included on the invoice.

It’s unknown why the lawsuit was filed now, given that the $100,000 loan allegedly isn’t due until Aug. 14. Emil Meyers could not be immediately reached on Thursday.

Ronda Connor, the attorney for Emil and Teryl Meyers and the construction company, declined to comment for this story. Gabe Meyers could not be reached for comment on Thursday. Reached by phone on Thursday morning, Bob Vogt declined to comment for this story.

The five-day music marathon, held May 8 to 12, became the largest event in Napa history, bringing tens of thousands of music lovers to the Napa Expo. BottleRock attendance was estimated to reach more than 120,000. Neighbors and downtown businesses grappled with the influx of visitors, some benefiting more than others.

However, BottleRock organizers have yet to pay 142 union workers $630,000 in wages as well as a number of other vendors who worked at the five-day music event. Two other lawsuits for breach of contract have been filed against the festival. Up to $1 million in promised donations to a group of nonprofits has not been distributed.

In recent weeks, Vogt said he is seeking investors for the festival. BottleRock organizers are also engaged in a financial dispute with CP Cooks, the group that organized the food and beverage services at the festival.

Copyright 2016 Napa Valley Register. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(27) Comments

  1. Caribfan
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    Caribfan - July 11, 2013 3:49 pm
    Yikes, this is getting so deep. Too bad.
  2. screwedbyBR
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    screwedbyBR - July 11, 2013 4:17 pm
    Nice try, Gabe. Something's fishy. Why would your dad file 1 month early? The truth will come out.
  3. FAndrews
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    FAndrews - July 11, 2013 4:27 pm
    Wow! Didn't see this one coming. If family had to lend them money the day of the show, then they knew they were in dire straights. So the rhetoric that we've been told about the catering company being the cause of this is not exactly correct, is it? What kind of individual stiffs their own Father? He was also a vendor as well as lent them $100K. The note is not due until August 14th and he is filing suit now, what does he know that the rest of us do not? I would imagine he knows that there are limited assets and it will be first come, first served. So for all of you unpaid vendors, better step forward now and stake out your claim. So what's next? If these guys are not loyal to family, do you Koolaid drinkers honestly think they are loyal to any of you? Don't you think if there was really an investor that the father would have proceeded with a very public lawsuit against his son? Grab a life vest, the SS BottleRock is going down in flames.
  4. rob100180
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    rob100180 - July 11, 2013 4:48 pm
    Such a shame. this was such a great event that finally brought a little life into the Napa.
  5. furray
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    furray - July 11, 2013 5:03 pm
    How sad. A great event that was mismanaged. I feel so bad for the vendors that are getting stiffed
  6. tommerle
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    tommerle - July 11, 2013 6:16 pm
    Notice that the article said 'secured' loan. So there is some collateral to offset any non payment. The early lawsuit does make the whole arrangement mysterious, however. And why would any vendor provide services, which is a kind of loan, even if you got half up front, without some form of collateral. The vendors and union guys were not investors, willingly assuming risk, though it appears that is what they become in the current scenario.
  7. FAndrews
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    FAndrews - July 11, 2013 7:40 pm
    They, Gabe's parents, lent him $100K, the last day of the festival, that is the secured loan. The services they rendered were $69,088.91, which is not a secured loan. Vendors provided services is not a loan, it's a debt. True the vendors and union guys are not investors but they did have contracts, or let's assume they did, in which case they would be entitled to their money. But, if I was an attorney for say Up and Under Catering, I'd also be suing for damages and legal fees.
    For those individuals that are owed money (Union and non-union workers) you can file a complaint with the State of California if BRNV failed to pay your wages and/or paid you with a check that bounced. Go to this website to file a claim: http://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/HowToFileWageClaim.htm. You can do this online and it costs you nothing. The State of California will do all of the work for you.
  8. je1466
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    je1466 - July 11, 2013 7:48 pm
    http://www.ktvu.com/news/news/local-govt-politics/city-and-organizers-get-feedback-bottlerock-fest/nX7YF/

    "Financially, BottleRock was a success, according to Napa Valley Expo CEO Joe Anderson.

    The Expo billed BottleRocks' organizers $752,622, Anderson said. So far BottleRock has paid the Expo $441,724 and owes $310,938. The Napa Valley Expo made a profit of $583,000 from BottleRock, Anderson said.

    Anderson said a final report on BottleRock will be compiled after Thursday's two meetings to solicit feedback.

    BottleRock is planning on holding another festival in Napa next May."

    So Joe Anderson, are you going to resign or wait to be fired? You stepped all over our community without any consideration for the people that live here and you screwed the whole thing up in the process.
  9. Downtown Gal
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    Downtown Gal - July 11, 2013 8:51 pm
    It says in the article that ... "The loan, due Aug. 14, was to be used “solely to pay off current liabilities past due,” said the contract." Maybe they are suing before the deadline because the loan wasn't used for the purpose mentioned in the contract. Just a guess.
  10. jjar
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    jjar - July 11, 2013 9:33 pm
    Aw, come one we will make it up next year! Wait they are having one next year...
    Party on Garth!
  11. Bauhausfan
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    Bauhausfan - July 11, 2013 10:24 pm
    Taken in total the event was not so great after all. It appears from what is publicly known that they didn't have enough cash flow before, during and after the event, with checks bouncing and money being moved from different accounts to keep things afloat.

    Anyone who bought a ticket to next years festival (with no line up announced) as was claimed on this site by a comment left on a previous article is either really naive or is lying about actually buying the ticket.

    There is no Bottlerock anymore. That was it. There is nothing to buy or invest in for the future.
  12. crooked6pence
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    crooked6pence - July 11, 2013 10:55 pm
    His father is correct in filing a lawsuit early, in fact he should have filed it sooner. Those that file first have priority over later lawsuits when it comes to collecting payment. If the money runs out before the last claimant has been paid they are out of luck!
  13. eyeremembertim
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    eyeremembertim - July 12, 2013 12:07 am
    It just gets worse. And now the children being eaten by their own? The culpability of the promoters here increasingly looks subject to criminal scrutiny. No response from downtown because business as usual no one complains. As a community we deserve better. "Que Horrible". Let us all look at how a wonderful sounding event like this went wrong and how next time we do it better.
  14. tommerle
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    tommerle - July 12, 2013 1:13 am
    When you give away your services with the expectation of payment it is a de facto loan whether you call it a dept or not. No reason to argue about semantics. From outward appearances it seems that the unpaid vendors were borderline fools for providing their goods and services to such babes in toyland.
  15. Bystander 1
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    Bystander 1 - July 12, 2013 8:02 am
    Blatant crime is excused by your standard of what people should have known. It is fine to talk about what people should have known but the real issue is the contractual failures right? Or do you believe some ethical notion of your beliefs or what they should have known should supersede contractual law?
    Also the delusional rocker fans or whatever we want to call them who just want to rock on again next year regardless of how many people are harmed, get a life!
  16. Punk Rocker
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    Punk Rocker - July 12, 2013 8:43 am
    Ok, does this mean they paid off their investors -- then ran out of money -- then had to borrow from their family???? Never heard before anything like this. It's understandable that you'd want to stiff union workers before stiffing your family. But stiffing your family for the benefit of investors?? Let's hope it wasn't that bad! No way Vogt could have done that!!
  17. glenroy
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    glenroy - July 12, 2013 9:10 am
    It is too bad...a family helped hundreds, maybe thousands of Napan over the years...

    …reminds me of the Hal Ketchum ….”long way down”….

  18. Report Abuse
    - July 12, 2013 10:02 am
    I must say that crowpie is very salty, though, this event and aftermath historically is looking like a Southern California concert event in which the promoters failed to control cash flow and only very few music acts were paid. No one else received compensation, everyone got left high and dry. But the controversy and politics got nasty and statements were made in public about the promoter that were serious and a complaint for deformation of character was filed and the promoter was successful in suing quite a few people. So that is like falling into a pile of manure and coming up smelling like roses.
  19. FAndrews
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    FAndrews - July 12, 2013 11:53 am
    Oracle we've missed you. I'm not sure anyone has said any defamatory remarks. I think we have all voiced opinions, truths and observations. We don't all agree and I think ultimately the common goal was for BRNV to pay off their debts and salvage some amount of dignity. This is beyond anything I could have imagined. I'm hoping things don't get worse, but something tells me there is more that will come out in the coming weeks. I don't think anyone is getting any kind of pleasure from watching parents sue their child. But is does show the characters of the promoters, doesn't it. Who pays investors before family? BRNV has been a little disingenuous from the start of this. As adults, we should accept responsibility for our actions not blame those around us. Be that as it may, I'm glad you're eating the crow pie and not me.
  20. vocal-de-local
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    vocal-de-local - July 12, 2013 4:23 pm
    It's possible that Gabe told his dad, "I'm really sorry but there aren't enough funds at the end of the day to pay you back, so, dad, you better jump in the lawsuit line so that you get yours first".

    Quite possibly this could be a strategy to benefit a family member rather than strife between them. Hopefully Meyers Construction has a solid accounting otherwise it might appear as though the motive is to redirect some of the profits through gifting etc.

    A sad day, altogether, for everyone involved. I might feel more sorry for Gabe if he hadn't walked around as though he was superior to everyone else. He had his 15 minutes of fame but not in a good way.
  21. Report Abuse
    - July 12, 2013 5:18 pm
    FA I am not committed too or implying that you or anyone on this blog is making defamatory remarks, I am just offering some knowledge of a similar event that occurred and what the results were. I have observed that you are fully vested in this continuing drama, so vested that appears what is said in your general area, you take it personal. It is just a discussion and very certainly anything that is said will have no effect on the parties that are actually involved in the financial tragedy. These concerns over BRNV is pretty much keeping in line with what I offered sometime back. Why the register choose to mention the "John Does" in the complaint up to this point and now, when they have not is curious because the complaint(S) contain the "John Does". So I fore warn that the vending managers should be correct in with-holding funds because if they are found in "breach" of contract they are going to have multiple suits for damages against them for with-holding those funds.
  22. jjar
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    jjar - July 12, 2013 9:55 pm
    Also the delusional rocker fans or whatever we want to call them who just want to rock on again next year regardless of how many people are harmed, get a life!

    WOW! It was a joke dude! Did you have money in the pot? Whatever is said on who should
    be paid or who will be sued is water under the 1st street bridge.
    We fell for the sham hook line and sinker. And when the dust settles some will be hurt more than others.
    Woodstock by some accounts was a failure. But what a memory. Lets figure this thing out and move on to make Bottle Rock a win.
    Not just a memory.
  23. Bystander 1
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    Bystander 1 - July 13, 2013 7:36 am
    jjar- It is not aimed solely at you. I have seen a lot of self absorbed fun lovers who want to only concentrate on that and perhaps some nebulous happy community experience that they are imagining and simply ignore the other realities involved.. Woodstock is not a good analogy since it had virtually international cultural implications, and the downside was mostly trash unless you know of other problems. So I am still not clear what your saying "make it up next year" is a joke and then" lets figure this thing and move on to make bottle rock a win is serious?"
  24. jenriley2
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    jenriley2 - July 13, 2013 7:46 am
    Oracle, the promoter you are referring to is Paul Tollett with Goldenvoice. At the time of the first Coachella, Paul had been a successful promoter for many years, promoting hundreds of shows. He had a great track record and a sterling reputation. He built his business from the ground up, with hard work, and his honest and forthright business manner made Goldenvoice well regarded in the industry. He lost $850,000 at the first Coachella. He was able to survive that loss because of his reputation. His personal relationship and track record with artists, agents, managers and vendors afforded him the opportunity to pay back his debts over a period of time.
    Perhaps I'm missing some info - do Bob and Gabe have an ongoing business as concert promoters? How many shows does Will Power Entertainment promote each year? What is their track record in the concert industry?
  25. Report Abuse
    - July 13, 2013 5:31 pm
    I am wondering if you can't file aswell, considering this is going to litigation and we have BRNV contending that the vendor services is withholding funds causing damages. Even if you filed separately in small claims it may get joined.
  26. Report Abuse
    - July 13, 2013 5:32 pm
    I believe we are talking about different concerts I am thinking more like back in the 80's.
  27. jjar
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    jjar - July 18, 2013 12:45 am
    1. international cultural implications: Really, when it was held it was just a Rock concert!
    2. So I am still not clear what your saying "make it up next year" is a joke: "Sarcasm"
    3. lets figure this thing and move on to make bottle rock a win is serious?" YES!
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