Iron Mountain, Mich. (WZMQ) – New details about the delay at Wednesday’s Afroman concert in Iron Mountain have emerged. The Maxx Entertainment Center is addressing the backlash it has received over the two-hour delay of its highlight performer, Afroman.
The center’s owner blames Afroman’s promoter Reid Stanton Promotions for being over an hour late to take tickets, resulting in frustration from concertgoers. Policy changes will be implemented as a response to the delay backlash.
The owner of the Maxx Entertainment Center appreciates the City’s patience as the Maxx works on improving the operations of shows at its new outdoor venue.
“To the people of Iron Mountain who heard the music so late, we are going to require from this point forward also that all main artists start at 10 p.m. to finish by 11:00. So no matter what, we’re going to start wrapping this stuff early. And again if it, you know, if it’s a big weekend festival over the fourth, that’s a different story,” commented Fraser. The owner acknowledged that the concert ran way too late, but emphasized that for the venue’s first outdoor event, it was an overall success.
“We did have a great turnout, things worked out well, as far as our security detail, there weren’t any fights. We did have to take a couple of people out, but if someone is ruining everyone else’s good time, it’s our responsibility to remove them. And that’s primarily where the bad reviews are coming is from a small handful of people that were asked to leave or stop doing things that they didn’t want to stop doing,” Fraser stated.
Fraser clarified another major scheduling hiccup, which also received quite a handful of complaints.
“So the show was supposed to start at 7 p.m. central time, and didn’t actually start until 8 because the promoter who was with Afroman on a video shoot was running late,” Fraser explained. Fraser informed that the performer, Afroman, shot a music video at Rize cannabis dispensary in Iron Mountain this week. Fraser commented that the music video shoot is what made the performer run so late to the show.
WZMQ reached out to Rize cannabis dispensary, who commented that Rize was a sponsor of the event but had no involvement in the planning or execution of the concert. WZMQ reached out to the promoter of the event, Reid Stanton Promotions, which is out of Wisconsin. The promoter explained that this was also his first promotional event in the Upper Peninsula, and that there was also a learning curve for him, as well as several other unexpected delays. The promoter informed that for future shows promoted by Reid Stanton promotions, for concert-goers to expect his promoted shows to potentially not start until midnight, as he is used to Wisconsin concerts on that timeline.
The owner of the Maxx says there was also a brief rain delay, which also pushed the timeline back unexpectedly.
“So by the time we got everything on schedule, and then there ended up being a short rain delay, we ended up being close to an hour and a half late. So instead of Afroman going on at 10:30 or 10:00, he went on at midnight. And the show ended at 1:00,” remarked Fraser.
Fraser also responded to accusations that local bands were sour about paying to open for a big name performer who was running seriously late.
“You know the local acts, on some of these big shows, they have to do what’s called pay-to-play, so the local acts don’t actually get to perform for free, they have to sell tickets in order to be able to play. So in order to pay-to-play, they have to sell like $400 worth of tickets to get their spot in the show. And then, that helps pay for Afroman. So on an event like this, we weren’t getting paid per se on any of the door sales. We didn’t have control of any of the door sales,” Fraser clarified. He informed that the door sales were done by the promoter’s manager, an employee of Afroman. “All we got for doing the show, was just food and drinks, and our little trinkets that we are selling. That’s what we get for doing these shows,” Fraser stated.
“These bigger acts require large down payments, so if you don’t have the down payment, which we didn’t, then they take all the money, and they take all of the risk,” Fraser said, referring to
Afroman and his promotional associate, Reid Stanton Promotions, also known as RSP.
Fraser stated that the performer, Afroman was also a half-hour late getting into town, at about a quarter to six p.m. The promoter was supposed to be taking tickets at 5 p.m. at the Maxx Entertainment Center. That promoter didn’t show up to the venue until 6:15. Fraser clarified that all the Maxx does is host the events, they have no control over pre-sales or ticket sales. They provided security and hosted the show at their venue. He also added that with the venue not having provided the down payment, or having a contract ahead of time, if they would have made an issue of it running two hours over on time, the owner feared that Afroman would have left, and then he would have to deal with a riot.
“So it was my job to quell things as long as I could,” Fraser explained. He added that the people who did stay and stick it out into the late performance had an amazing time. Fraser said that over 300 people were screaming and cheering for Afroman’s appearance when he finally took the stage late into Wednesday night, early Thursday morning.
Fraser also addressed accusations that some of the local opening bands felt cheated on the delay. “Some of the local bands don’t think it’s fair for them to have to pay to be on the stage, but when it comes to a promoter running the show, and we’re just the hosting venue, I have no control over any of that. We’re just the place that says come on in to our home, this is our home for the night,” Fraser remarked.
WZMQ reached out to the local opening band, Midwest Crew. Jeremy “MC Cube” Fende, the Crew’s producer, acknowledged the learning curve for the Maxx’s very first outdoor show, and expressed satisfaction with the event’s success on behalf of the opening band.
Fraser informed that the Maxx is looking at making other changes to how concerts are handled at the entertainment center.
“We have a bunch of things that are going to change with the front door. Anytime a promoter has something like Eventbrite or Ticketmaster doing their stuff, we are going to require that we have the password to that account, so that we can start checking people in right away,” Fraser stated. He added that the venue didn’t have physical access to check people in who bought tickets, and some people who paid right away actually got in before the people who had pre-paid tickets.
He felt that overall the event was a success, nothing got broken, there was very little trash, nothing was stolen, and that the security detail executed their jobs by keeping things safe for everyone who participated in the event. Fraser expressed that in the wake of all of the negative backlash, there has been at least five times the support.
“I woke up this morning, and I was really tight in my chest over this stuff, because I am a guy who has feelings. And so it really bothered me with the negative comments. But behind each negative comment, there’s five more that are telling me how great of a job that we’re doing,” noted Fraser. Fraser is looking forward to improving things at the Maxx’s next outdoor show, which will be when Punk Rock Riot takes the stage, weather permitting.