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After legal action, payments flow to companies owed by Blue Ridge Rock Festival

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Attendees enjoy the music at the Blue Ridge Rock Festival that was held Sept. 9-12.

It looks like the organizers of the Blue Ridge Rock Festival are on their way to paying money owed to companies that have filed legal action.

Blue Ridge Rock Festival LLC recently paid back rent owed to the owner of the Blue Ridge Amphitheater property, as well as money the promoters owed for bush hogging and excavation work performed by Atkinson Farms & Events, which owns the property.

The repayment puts a stop to a lawsuit Atkinson filed against Blue Ridge Rock Festival, LLC, on Dec. 17 in Pittsylvania County Circuit Court.

“We have straightened up everything,” J.R. Atkinson, with Atkinson Farms & Events, told the Danville Register & Bee on Friday. “We have no issues with them and we are looking forward to them coming back and hopefully doing another concert.”

Atkinson Farm & Events, LLC sued the Blue Ridge Rock Festival for breach of contract, claiming the festival operator owed more than $50,000 worth of back rent and work performed at the property.

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 bush hogging and excavation work performed at the Blue Ridge Amphitheater and adjacent property in Pittsylvania County.

Atkinson and Blue Ridge Rock Festival entered into a land-lease agreement on Feb. 16, 2021, to lease part of the property to Blue Ridge. The lease’s terms began March 1, 2021, and were supposed to end Dec. 30, 2021.

The two parties also are in a purchase agreement in which Blue Ridge Rock Festival LLC would buy the property that included parcels containing 59.27 acres, 3.6 acres, 5 acres and 125.91 acres.

The lease agreement was for a total of $116,667.

Atkinson said Friday that Blue Ridge is still leasing the property and could purchase it, which totals roughly 200 acres.

“That may come about,” Atkinson said.

He entered into the agreement with the promoters because he wanted to see the amphitheater put to use.

“We had the amphitheater sitting there and not doing anything,” he said. “We’d have a few events here and there. When they talked to me it was like, ‘Wow, we’d love for you to come here and give it a shot and try it here.’ It can be a great deal if everybody gets behind them.”

The Blue Ridge Rock Festival, which was held Sept. 9-12 at Blue Ridge Amphitheater, hosted about 33,000 daily festival-goers.

“We’re hoping they can come back and do it again and bring in a lot of business for the county,” Atkinson said of the promoters, Lynchburg-based Purpose Driven Events and Blue Ridge Rock Festival, LLC.

Another lawsuit, against Purpose Driven Events, accuses the concert promoter of breach of contract for failure to pay for work performed at the amphitheater property.

Regarding that lawsuit, Purpose Driven Events Director of Operations Cara Fischer said Thursday via email, “We have met with Guy P. Riddle Excavating and both sides have agreed to not engage in any media regarding this matter. We are working closely to settle out of court.”

Guy P. Riddle Inc. in Chatham states in its complaint that Purpose Driven Events owes $167,832 for completed work, plus $3,356 in late charges, totaling about $171,188.

Guy P. Riddle is seeking the $167,832 plus the $3,356, as well as statutory interest at a rate of 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 attorneys’ fees.

Work performed by Riddle included construction of two roadways at White Oak Mountain Amphitheater on Lester Lane in Pittsylvania County.

The project included building a 2,500-foot by 20-foot roadway for $61,050 and a second 1,320-foot by 20-foot roadway for $46,200 — a total of $107,250.

Also, Seth Mullen, business development representative with Proforma Think Ink in Lynchburg, says Purpose Driven Events owes him about $8,000 for directional signs installed for the Worship at the Mountain Music Festival held Sept. 3-5. 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 had waited so long to contact him that he had to have the products delivered to them overnight.

“That wasn’t cheap,” Mullen said.

He has consulted an attorney but has not taken legal action against the company.

Fischer did not return messages seeking comment on the money owed to Mullen.


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