Why Was HELLFEST Cancelled?

Scott Frost of The Trentonian has published an in-depth report on the circumstances surrounding the cancellation of Hellfest 2005, the three-day festival of hardcore heavy metal and punk bands that was set for Aug. 19-21 at the Sovereign Bank Arena in Trenton, New Jersey.

Officials with Sovereign Bank Area announced the cancellation yesterday afternoon, saying promoters didn’t have the proper insurance policy to cover an event of such magnitude.

Hellfest was scheduled to have PUBLIC ENEMY, HATEBREED and KILLSWITCH ENGAGE headlining the event along with over 180 other punk, hardcore, hip hop and metal groups coming from all over the United States, Canada and Japan.

Fans, who spent up to $120 for a three-day pass to the event, will receive a full refund at the point of purchase beginning tomorrow.

Promoters said 500 tickets were sold overseas, to fans as far away as Australia, and officials with Trenton’s downtown Marriott said the hotel had been sold out for two weeks.

The Lafayette Yard hotel even altered its restaurant's menu to accommodate a large straightedge and vegan fanbase that follow the bands set to perform.

"It was going to be a great event and it had a lot of potential," the arena's general manager Eric Cuthbertson said yesterday. "Unfortunately, the event promoters failed to comply with the contractible obligation of the arena’s lease agreement.

"They failed to meet schedules and deadlines which forced us into a corner where we had to cancel the event."

Promoters and arena officials met in May to iron out the details and sign the contract.

The SBA rents the space and requires promoters to supply a security and insurance plan.

Hellfest organizers had 30 days to provide the proper insurance policy to handle a large-scale rock concert in the city, but the insurance supplied was "not the insurance that we needed," Cuthbertson said.

Arena management refused to elaborate on the insurance policy issues, but Hellfest promoters said they were covered.

Read more at The Trentonian.


Posted in: News


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