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Booster clubs hope for solution as country music fest controversy continues

While numerous vendors, contractors and even the Linn County Sheriff's Office said they haven't been paid for this past summer's festival, Josie Carothers of the Harrisburg Booster Club said they've been paid $65,000.

Posted: Oct 11, 2018 3:00 PM
Updated: Oct 11, 2018 6:47 PM

LINN COUNTY, Ore. -- The president of the Harrisburg Booster Club said she hopes a solution can be found as the controversy over the Willamette Country Music Festival continues.

While numerous vendors, contractors and even the Linn County Sheriff's Office said they haven't been paid for this past summer's festival, Josie Carothers of the Harrisburg Booster Club said they've been paid $65,000.

RELATED: Commissioner: Country Music Fest owes sheriff's office $78,000

"We really hope for the community's sake that we can work out a solution that pleases everybody and that we can continue with this because I do feel like there is so much good that comes from this festival," Carothers said.

The Harrisburg Booster club made their money by delivering water to campers and festival goers and also selling tickets. Carothers said they've worked with the festival for four years and have always had a good relationship.

The president of the Central Linn Booster Club told KEZI 9 News they've also been paid for their work.

A spokeswoman with the Springfield School District, whose students also worked the festival, said their payment hasn't come in yet, but the payments typically arrive between October and November.

MORE: Country music festival vendors say they haven't been paid

Meanwhile, John Langdon hopes his land outside of Harrisburg becomes the new home of the festival. He said all he would get in return for leasing the land is some free tickets for him and his family.

As for the controversy surrounding payments from last year's festival, Langdon blames the Linn County Board of Commissioners and Sheriff Jim Yon for not playing ball with the festival's owners. Langdon said the application for the 2019 festival should have been approved months ago, and the delay is causing problems

"There's going to be things that need to be worked out and ironed out every year," Langdon said. "But now we're in a situation where it's been about a four-month disruption in their business model. Any business is going to have problems if you disrupt it that long."

A spokeswoman for IMG, the company that owns the festival, said they are assessing the financial situation of the festival, and no decision has been made for 2019.

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