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Sturgis Trial Continues Longer Than Music Festival

DEADWOOD, SD (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — The civil trial over the failed 2004 Sturgis Music Festival has finished four full days of testimony without conclusion – lasting longer then the actual concert series.

The trial has included a half-day video conference testimony from Ron Rose, a partner in Sturgis 2004, the LLC that staged the downtown Sturgis motorcycle rally-week concert series.

The planned eight-night event, featuring acts such as B.B. King and Hank Williams Jr., lasted only three nights before Rose canceled the remaining shows, according to the Rapid City Journal.

Rose told the court that poor ticket sales and a lack of funding led to the concert’s demise. Ticketholders who paid cash for the remaining shows lost their money, and vendors and stagehands were never paid.

One vendor, advertising agency TDG Communications of Deadwood, filed suit against the company, seeking $48,000 in unpaid bills, plus attorney fees and punitive damages. The suit names Rose, Sturgis 2004, and Rose’s partners Ericka Hansen and Paul Barrow.

TDG’s attorney has targeted Rose directly, attempting to prove fraud and self-dealing by Rose, to get past the corporate safeguard that protects investors from personal liability.

Hansen’s attorney has also turned against Rose, seeking to show that Rose acted alone and excluded Hansen from key financial decisions. He is also pushing Hansen’s claim that Rose left town with a large but undetermined amount of money from Sturgis 2004.

Rose’s attorney, Michael Loos, has argued that Rose did everything he could to make the event a success, despite early misrepresentations by Hansen about big sponsorships, big crowds and other investors. Loos contends that Sturgis 2004, which is broke – not Ron Rose – owes the money to TDG.

Rose told the court, “I gave 110 percent. I couldn’t have given more.”

$1 million in sponsorships promised by Hansen never materialized, according to Rose’s testimony, and many other financial problems sank the deal.

By the time they arrived in Sturgis, the company has little money left, and hoped cash flow from ticket sales would pay the bill, but “dismal” sales left Rose “very, very, very disappointed,” according to the paper.

After the third night, when Hank Williams Jr. performed, Rose felt some optimism, but pulled the plug on the concerts after finding out only 1,500 tickets had been sold and the corporate bank account had been overdrawn.

Rose also testified that he didn’t take any cash himself. “Not one cent,” he said, according to the paper. His testimony is expected to continue today and on through next week. –by CelebrityAccess Staff Writers