A concert promoter, who had failed to produce a Rhythm on the Water show in Austin, Texas, reportedly owes $20,000.
Promoter Brandon Veuleman was in charge of a “Rhythm on the Water,” a show that included food, drinks, and live music on a boat at the Walsh Boat Landing in Austin with funds going to a handful of charities. However, due to low ticket sales, the show, as well as future Rhythm on the Water shows, have been cancelled. Ticketholders found out about the cancellation after arriving at the venue, and now, are requesting refunds.
Brownout, a band who had performed at the Empire Control Room earlier in the month, took to social media to warn other bands about receiving money from Veuleman up-front, since they still did not get paid for their performance. Beto Martinez of Brownout told CBS Austin that he was given a check that bounced days later and they “never received the money despite several promises that we would.”
“While we’re disappointed to learn that SIMS Foundation cannot expect to receive donations from Rhythm on the Water events in which we were the nonprofit beneficiary, our bigger concern is for the artists, vendors, and others who have not been paid for their services,” one of the charities said in a statement. “Our role serving the Austin music industry’s mental health needs makes us acutely aware of the difficult financial circumstances this has created for musicians who are currently owed money. We hope that this matter will be quickly resolved with all affected parties compensated for their time and hard work.”
Fans took to the event’s Facebook group to express their concern:
After the band went public with the news, that’s when Veuleman said is when things “snowballed.”
Veuleman told CBS that there is a contract with states Brownout would be paid $8,500, but there weren’t enough tickets sold for the show, so Vueleman wasn’t able to pay them. However, he is currently working on a resolution and hopes to pay them back in full.
“My intentions weren’t to rip everybody off, they weren’t negative or nefarious,” he said. “It just snowballed after one bad event.”
In the coming days, Veuleman expects 25 people to receive refunds from Eventbrite for Rhythm on the Water, while other ticket holders should eventually get their money back. He owes $20,000, which he plans to pay back out of his own pocket. In an interview with CBS, Vueleman noted the the concept of Rhythm on the Water might be continued if passed onto new management, however it might be under a new moniker.