Claus Jensen, managing director of Denmark's Intromental Management, has issued the following statement regarding the cancellation of RAINTIME and SECRET SPHERE's European tour with ROYAL HUNT:
"As you've probably heard by now, the European tour for ROYAL HUNT has been cancelled. Our two Italian bands RAINTIME and SECRET SPHERE have been caught up in the middle of this, since they were booked as support bands for the tour.
"Here's the story, as per what we've been told by the parties involved:
"Sunday, 9th of October, RAINTIME and SECRET SPHERE left Pavia in Italy, and embarked on what was supposed to be a great tour, as supporting acts to one of the bands that over the years have brought much joy and musical excitement into the lives of the musicians in the two aforementioned bands, ROYAL HUNT.
"First gig was set for Munich, Germany on Monday, 10th of October.
"At 8.45 Monday morning, we receive a phone call at the office from the bands, saying that their bus driver just informed them that ROYAL HUNT had cancelled the tour and was on their way back home.
"Of course, this news surprised us, and we immediately contacted the booking agency in charge for the whole tour, MS Promotion in Germany. By our first call to them, they didn't know anything at all except that they also had just been told the tour was cancelled, through an email from ROYAL HUNT's management, Michael Raitzin of Majestic Entertainment in USA.
"At 10:00 we contacted our bands once again and told them we'd do everything possible to try and solve the situation, and for now they should just continue onwards towards the first venue on the tour; Garage Deluxe in Munich.
"What happened over the next 8 hours is simply beyond belief, but in trying to keep it short, these are the facts …
"ROYAL HUNT's record label, Frontiers Records, knew absolutely nothing, except that they had just received an email (sent Sunday 9th of October at 6.00 pm from ROYAL HUNT's manager), stating that they needed more CDs for the tour. So, according to the record label, as far as they were informed, the tour was still running at full speed.
"The bus company that we rented the bus for RAINTIME / SECRET SPHERE from, MZ Entertainment in Germany, had also rented out the bus for ROYAL HUNT, so they told us that they were equally as upset as us. In fact, they told us they would stop both buses immediately until they knew what was going on.
"At that time, the bus driver of the ROYAL HUNT nightliner (who were the only one on that bus that picked up his phone!), informed us that as far as he knew the tour got cancelled because some important (money-wise) shows on the tour had been cancelled.
"We brought this news onto the MS team, who told us that this couldn’t be true. All shows on the tour was booked and confirmed. We still tried to get in touch with both ROYAL HUNT, their crew and their manager. No one answered the calls.
"MS provided us with names/contacts for all venues, and we started to call these in order to continue the tour, with just RAINTIME and SECRET SPHERE. But already at the first venue, Garage Deluxe in Munich, Germany, we were told that there was no interest in just having those bands play. Not even when we said that the bands were willing to play without getting any fee for doing so! As they said, they couldn't give people a refund for a cancelled gig, and still let them enter the venue to see the bands.
"So at 11:00, we had to make the tough decision of calling the bands and tell them to head on home to Italy!
"Finally, at 1.48 pm we heard back from Andre Andersen in ROYAL HUNT, who through a mobile text message said: 'Andre is here. Don’t have any details yet — found out a few hours ago. Trying to contact Majestic myself — what a mess!' We called him back and he informed us that although the tour had been cancelled he had no explanation for it, since he couldn't reach his management either. Fair enough!
"Through phone calls to MS, who still didn't know anything more than what's already been mentioned, we made arrangements of the 2640 euro of tour support for RAINTIME and SECRET SPHERE (yes, each band had to pay 165 Euro for each of the 8 shows booked) to be transferred to the bus company, MZ. Otherwise the bus company wouldn't drive our bands back home — they simply refused to drive any further. In fact, they sent us an email stating that they wanted 3.280 euros in rental and gasoline for the tour bus + second driver pickup of 320 euro (something that actually never happened) + a cancellation fee of 800 euros … total 4.400 euros. This cancellation fee had by the way never been mentioned before, so it was simply something the bus company decided to put on here and now.
"Around 3 pm we got hold of one of ROYAL HUNT's crew members that we have known for many years as part of the Copenhagen metal scene. He told us that right now the bus with ROYAL HUNT was stuck in Germany and wouldn't be going up towards Denmark until the bus company had received money for the rental of this. Since the band hadn't gotten hold of their management, nothing would happen at this stage. However, he also told us that the decision to cancel the tour was made the night before (after ROYAL HUNT's gig at Thunder Stone in Pavia, Italy) by Andre Andersen and Michael Raitzin through phone, after which the ROYAL HUNT guys had decided to get drunk and just drive home towards Denmark. Hmmm, this doesn't really fit with Andre's text message at 1:48 pm, does it?
"An hour later we finally catch Michael Raitzin on the phone. He tells us that he cancelled the tour because one of the main sponsors had suddenly backed out, and the tour wouldn't make sense from a financial point of view. Again, this doesn't fit with the fact that ROYAL HUNT were getting 330 euros per show from the support acts, plus a certain fee for playing each show from the venue (in Italy the fee was 1.800 euros per show!).
"We told him that we were stuck with a bill for the bus of 4.400 Euro, and asked him what he would do about that. He told us: 'That's not my problem!'
"So there you have it. RAINTIME and SECRET SPHERE joined this tour in order to build up a fan-following throughout Europe, but instead they lost 4.400 Euro and got nothing but a bus trip from Italy to Germany and back again in return.
"It's clear that ROYAL HUNT knew about the cancellation already the evening before, but they didn't inform the bus with RAINTIME / SECRET SPHERE until early in the morning, thus making them waste an entire night of driving, and another day of driving back. Something that ended up costing us a lot of money. It's also clear that ROYAL HUNT was getting paid from both support bands plus all the venues to make this happen. Something that should make this tour feasible to them. Even though their primary sponsor backed out in the middle of it all. And, it's also clear that this is not the first time ROYAL HUNT has cancelled entire tours, just few days prior to them taking place, leaving booking agencies, fans and support bands stuck with the results.
"To end this long explanation, we want to say that we feel really sorry about our bands being stuck in the middle of this farce. RAINTIME and SECRET SPHERE were so much looking forward to this tour, and the way the cancellation took place, with lack of information and lack of acknowledging the responsibility from ROYAL HUNT and their management, makes us really sad on the part of those two innocent bands. We hope to be able to arrange something else for them in the near future, that will get them back out where they should have been right now — having fun on the road and playing in front of their fans."