JOHN R. CRANE The Register (Danville) and the Bee
It appears that Blue Ridge Rock Festival organizers are set to pay the amounts owed to the companies that filed the lawsuit.
Blue Ridge Rock Festival LLC recently paid rent owed to the owner of the Blue Ridge Amphitheater property, as well as money the developers owed for brush clearing and excavation work done by Atkinson Farms & Events, owner of the property.
The refund ends a lawsuit filed by Atkinson against Blue Ridge Rock Festival, LLC on Dec. 17 in Pittsylvania County Circuit Court.
“We straightened everything out,” JR Atkinson of Atkinson Farms & Events told the Danville Register & Bee on Friday. “We have no problem with them and hope they come back and hopefully do another gig.”
Atkinson Farm & Events, LLC sued the Blue Ridge Rock Festival for breach of contract, claiming the festival operator owed more than $50,000 in back rent and work done on the property.
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In its civil lawsuit, the company argued that Blue Ridge Rock Festival owed $23,333.40 in rent for the months of November and December 2021, as well as $30,300 for brush clearing and excavation work carried out at the Blue Ridge Amphitheater and adjacent Pittsylvania County property.
Atkinson and Blue Ridge Rock Festival entered into a land lease agreement on February 16, 2021 to lease a portion of the property to Blue Ridge. The terms of the lease began on March 1, 2021 and were to end on December 30, 2021.
The two parties also entered into a purchase agreement in which Blue Ridge Rock Festival LLC would purchase the property which included parcels containing 59.27 acres, 3.6 acres, 5 acres and 125.91 acres.
The lease contract was for a total amount of $116,667.
Atkinson said Friday that Blue Ridge still leases and may purchase the property, which totals about 200 acres.
“It can happen,” Atkinson said.
He made the deal with the developers because he wanted to see the amphitheater put into use.
“We had the amphitheater sitting there doing nothing,” he said. “We had a few events here and there. When they spoke to me, it was like, ‘Wow, we’d like you to come here and try it and try it here.’ It can be a lot if everyone supports them.”
The Blue Ridge Rock Festival, held September 9-12 at the Blue Ridge Amphitheater, welcomed approximately 33,000 festival-goers daily.
“Hopefully they can come back and do it again and bring a lot of business for the county,” Atkinson said of the Lynchburg-based promoters, Purpose Driven Events and Blue Ridge Rock Festival, LLC.
Another lawsuit, against Purpose Driven Events, accuses the concert promoter of breach of contract for non-payment for work performed on the property of the amphitheater.
Regarding the lawsuit, Purpose Driven Events Director of Operations Cara Fischer said via email on Thursday, “We have met with Guy P. Riddle Excavating and both parties have agreed not to engage with any media regarding this matter. . We are working closely together to sort out research.”
Guy P. Riddle Inc. in Chatham states in its complaint that Purpose Driven Events owes $167,832 for work completed, plus $3,356 in late fees, totaling approximately $171,188.
Guy P. Riddle is asking for the $167,832 plus the $3,356 plus statutory interest at 6% from the date of judgment until the debt is paid in full.
The civil complaint seeks all of Riddle’s costs and expenses, including attorney’s fees.
Work executed by Riddle included the construction of two roads at the White Oak Mountain Amphitheater on Lester Lane in Pittsylvania County.
The project included the construction of a 2,500 foot by 20 foot causeway for $61,050 and a second 1,320 foot by 20 foot causeway for $46,200, for a total of $107,250.
Additionally, Seth Mullen, business development representative at Proforma Think Ink in Lynchburg, said Purpose Driven Events owed him approximately $8,000 for directional signs installed for worship at the Mountain Music Festival held from 3-5. September. He also designed menus for vendors selling concession items and merchandise, he said.
“I was contacted a week before the event with them needing signage,” Mullen told the Danville Register & Bee on Thursday. “That should have been a red flag then.”
He said organizers waited so long to contact him that he had to have the products delivered overnight.
“It wasn’t cheap,” Mullen said.
He consulted a lawyer but took no legal action against the company.
Fischer did not return messages seeking comment on the money owed Mullen.