WILLAMETTE, Ore. (CelebrityAccess) — The Linn County Board of Commissioners on Wednesday voted to revoke the permit for the long-running Willamette Country Music Festival, which has taken place in Brownsville, Oregan for more than a decade.
According to the Corvallis Gazette-Times, the Linn County Board of Commissioners voted to revoke the permit after learning of the financial turmoil surrounding the promoter’s other events, and for violations of the festival’s permit.
Among the reasons cited for the revocation was non-payment of vendors. Festival producer Willamette Country Music Concerts has already canceled two of its three events for 2019, with both- the Country Crossings Music Festival, and the Home Country Music Festival in Idaho.
Both events have been dogged by reports of unpaid creditors, which played into the decision to revoke the permit for the Willamette Country Music Festival
Commissioners Roger Nyquist and John Lindsey told the Gazette-Times that learning that creditors for the two canceled events had been offered “10 cents on the dollar” was the final straw.”
They also noted that the Linn County Sheriff’s Office discovered that Anne Hankins, the former festival president, and event manager for WCMC had been convicted of bank fraud in 2001, the Gazette-Times reported.
According to the Mail Tribune, Hankins departed from WCMC in late summer, and the festival lost its primary sponsor Bi-Mart, a short time later, per the Mail Tribune.
The Corvallis Gazette-Times reported that a representative for WCMC did not attend the hearing.
According to the Gazette-Times, Nyquist said it is “evident that the permit holder is not interested in continuing with this five-year permit since no one showed up.”
Commissioners also cited what they characterize as violations in their decision to cancel the permit, including failure to enforce the festival’s alcohol policy, failure to enforce a public safety plan and inadequate planning for traffic.
The Willamette Country Music Festival’s website says the festival is slated to take place in 2019 from August 15-18 and has already announced Jason Aldean as a headliner.
In response to our request for comment, a rep for WCMC reported that they are aware of the permit vote but have not made any decisions about WCMF in 2019 yet.
They also noted that Anne Haskins was formally suspended from the company in late September and fired for cause on October 15.
The rep also said they are aware of creditor claims and are working to make arrangements to make those creditors whole.
Update: a spokesman for IMG, of WME-IMG, which bought the festival, says vendors will be paid.