UPDATE: The GoFundMe page for the Kootenay Country Music Festival is now listed as ‘Deactivated’ and is not accepting any more donations.
A concert promoter who left several local groups and companies in the lurch after the Kootenay Country Music Festival in the summer of 2018 is back.
Travis Pangburn has set up an online crowdfunding campaign to raise money for a new version of the Castlegar-based music festival.
“We have decided to try the gofundme model for this festival,” wrote Pangburn on his fundraising page. “If we reach our goal, we will build a festival that has free entry! The goal is to bring this festival back again to Castlegar in 2020.”
Pangburn says if the campaign is successful, they’ll “engage in talks with our contacts in Castlegar to make it happen!
“We need this to move very quickly in order to make it happen for 2020, so please share with friends and family. We want to bring this artistic inspiration to the Kootenays again! For the third time!”
The campaign, begun in late November, is hoping to raise $150,000, but so far only $50 has been pledged by an anonymous donor.
Pangburn’s promotional empire, which included sponsoring a global tour of high-profile intellectuals and free-speech proponents, collapsed a little over a year ago. About the same time, word came out that several local businesses that had supplied goods and services to the country music festival were still owed money by the Kaslo-raised Pangburn.
Harold Chernoff of Trowelex was one of those creditors. His company rented everything from electrical generators to port-a-potties to the event — and are out about $20,000.
Chernoff told the Castlegar News he has since been in touch with Pangburn’s lawyers, but had little hope of seeing any of the money.
“We won’t be renting anything to them this time around,” he said.
The managers of the Pass Creek Exhibition Grounds, where the event was held, also told the News they had yet to be paid more than $3,000.
Some suppliers contacted by the News last year did say they had been paid for their services.
Pangburn did not respond to Castlegar News’ request for a comment on the gofundme campaign, but the web page does say they’re aware they still owe money.
“Additional note: We will be making our best effort to investigate and make amends with any outstanding debts the festival may have from past years,” it says.
Pangburn held the country music festival for two years, but after the second year his company’s financial problems forced them to announce they wouldn’t hold a festival in 2019.
The gofundme page explains how the $150,000 they hope to raise will be used:
• $40,000 for staging
• $70,000 for talent
• $20,000 for site
• $20,000 for staffing
It looks like Pangburn is also reviving another part of his main business, the live-event debates by prominent philosophers. His Twitter feed has announcements of upcoming tour events in the spring.
“I am going to be embarking on a tour in 2020 with one of my favorite scientists in human history,” he tweeted on Nov. 24. “Couldn’t be more pumped for this.”
There’s no word how long the gofundme campaign will be active.