November 26, 2014


Lorain eyes future events at Black River Landing

Lorain city workers clean up from Saturday’s Roverfest. EVAN GOODENOW/CHRONICLE

Lorain city workers clean up from Saturday’s Roverfest. EVAN GOODENOW/CHRONICLE

LORAIN — The $5,200 rental fee the Lorain Port Authority received for Saturday’s Roverfest concert was a fraction of the ticket revenue, but Rick Novak isn’t complaining.

Novak said the concert’s long-term benefits will exceed the rental fee. Because the show at Black River Landing occurred with no major hitches, Novak said the site is more likely to attract bigger future acts drawing thousands more people to Lorain.

“The goal was basically to make sure we could do an event of this nature,” Novak said Monday as workers cleaned up the site at 421 Black River Lane. “We pulled it off.”

The annual concert, hosted by Cleveland-based WMMS radio shock jock Shane “Rover” French, featured rappers and a beauty contest. Chris Tyler, WMMS program director, didn’t answer emailed questions Monday, but the show drew an estimated 15,000 people.

Roverfest drew the biggest crowd so far.

At $25 per person, that works out to about $375,000 in ticket revenue, not including parking revenue which the promoter also received. WMMS is owned by San Antonio, Texas-based Clear Channel Communications. The company, which bills itself as one of the largest media and entertainment companies in the world, earned $6.2 billion in revenue last year, according to its website.

Clear Channel will pay for electricity, security and water for the show — water tanks were used to help stabilize concert stages — as well as for the cleanup. Lorain’s cost for the concert, which includes fire and police services and water, is about $40,000, said Safety/Service Director Robert Fowler.

The concerts have a rowdy reputation, but safety concerns turned out to be unfounded. Police reported just three arrests and there were no major injuries. About 50 police officers were on hand in addition to private security.

About 30 people were injured at the concert, said Herb de la Porte, LifeCare Ambulance vice president. Ten people were hospitalized for non-life-threatening injuries, mainly related to mosh pits around the stages and stage diving.

Novak said the $5,200 fee is standard and about $1,200 more than was paid by Clear Channel for last year’s concert in Cleveland. He said it has been waived for some groups in the past who couldn’t afford it, such as organizers of the Lorain International Festival.

Since Black River Landing opened in 2003, Novak said thousands of people have attended events. An Eagles cover band drew about 6,000 last year and a Queen cover band drew about 5,000 in June.

Novak said it’s up to city officials and the authority Board of Directors whether to host Roverfest next year if organizers want to return.

He added that other than minor glitches, organizers did a “phenomenal” job. Novak said many of the concertgoers he spoke with said it was their first visit to Lorain and he believes they liked what they saw.

“I think we’ll get people coming back,” he said. “That’s what we want.”

Contact Evan Goodenow at 329-7129 Follow him on Twitter at @egoodenowct.

  • Sis Delish

    Rent/Revenue: $5,200.00
    Cost to City: $40,000.00

    • SniperFire

      OMG. Lorain got played.

      • oldruss


    • rob

      $40,000 loss to the city+ full reimbursement for all costs to the city by Rover+ $5200 rent+ fencing/posts valued at $3000= 15,000 people having the times of their lives in downtown Lorain, $8200 cash and equipment, businesses patronized, Lorain showcased in a positive light, fire, ems, police receive overtime without burdening tax revenue. BUT. 3. PEOPLE. WERE. ARRESTED.


      • Sis Delish

        Up early to share your New and Improved Updated Information not available at Press Time when most postings were submitted. Good for you.

        The C-T Reported less than complete figures as supplied by the City of Lorain when this story hit the web. But of course, you knew that.

        Where do you get the $8,200.00 Cash Figure from?

        A Win for Capitalism! Hooray!

        • rob

          I enjoyed it, thanks! Capitalism? Thats not government business!

        • rob

          Id just like to share with you, a quote from George W Bush, “You teach a child to read, and he or her will be able to pass a literacy test.”

  • oldruss

    “Lorain’s cost for the concert, which includes fire and police services and water, is about $40,000, said Safety/Service Director Robert Fowler.”

    We were told, by many posters, and by Rover, himself, that all costs were being picked up by Rover. Apparently that was not the case.

    “About 50 police officers were on hand in addition to private security.”

    If these 50 police officers were in addition to private security, I guess the City was paying their wages.

    It’s up to the taxpayers of Lorain whether spending $40,000 (at a minimum, the picture at the top is captioned, “Lorain city workers clean up from Saturday’s [concert],” so more city money, than that $40,000, may very well have been or will be spent, all for the sole privilege of hosting Rover Fest), was a wise expenditure or not.

    • B4CE

      40k- 5k =35k. Not as you stated ” more than $40,000″
      I would counter your complaint that the $35,000 was not spent for the sole privilege of hosting the event. Rather Lorain spent $35,000 on advertising and image. Even if nothing else comes of this, 15,000 people learned that Lorain is not as scary as they were lead to believe.

      • Sis Delish

        Would you invest $5k to lose $40k?

        • B4CE

          Your question should be phrased, ” would you spend $40,000 to make $5,000?” The way you posted is all backwards and mixed up, much like yourself.
          Do we know that only $5,000 was made? When is the cut off date to determine if this was a wise investment? Sunday? Next year? 5 years from now?
          What if this event leads to more events, which leads to a business or two opening? What if it leads to “Ol Crusty” getting his much desired hotel in Lorain?
          Would the $35,000 advertising investment be worth it then? Business and Cities that advertise, thrive. Those that don’t , die. Lorain is DEAD! If we keep doing what we have always done, we will get the same results.
          Even if the $35,000 only served to change the perception of Lorain for the 15,000 in attendance, I’d argue that it was worth it

          • Sis Delish

            I’m certain the Rent Money was received before the Police were paid. The $5k was invested in losing $40k.

            If they didn’t have the Rent Money in hand, they would not have an Event and the City would be $40,000.00 ahead.

            Your scenario reeks of Hope & Change. Most of us already know how That turned out.

          • B4CE

            I see what you did there!
            So in this scenario you and “Ol Crusty” are the Republicans holding a meeting during the Mayors swearing in, vowing to oppose everything the Mayor does , regardless of what it is. Even if it’s the very same thing you begged for in the past.

          • Sis Delish

            Wouldn’t waste My time attending. Haven’t opposed anything. Commenting on a bad investment.

            You, on the other hand, probably have dreamy posters of most Debitcrats on your bedroom walls.

          • oldruss

            Like I said above, it’s up to the taxpayers of Lorain to decide if this was a wise move by the city and the port. It may yet prove to be so, but until all the expenses have been totaled up, it is impossible for anyone to make any kind of decision. And, with only one political party running Lorain and Lorain County, there is not likely to be any hard questions asked, ever.

          • oldruss

            Considering that Clear Channel Communications, the Rover Fest promoter, has annual revenues in excess of $6.2 Billion, getting $5,200 seems inadequate, doesn’t it?

          • B4CE

            Considering Lorain is dead, and has NEVER held an event at BRL that enticed 15,000 visitors to the City. Getting $5,000 and advertising directly to 15,000 people, and letting the powers that be know Lorain can host large events, this seems like an adequate business arrangement.

          • Sis Delish

            Put up your $5k and have at it!

          • Joe Smith

            You could advertise directly to 3 times as many for less by putting something in the mail. And what exactly are they advertising? Are these people going to rush to Lorain now and spend their money? NOPE

          • Pablo Jones

            Oldruss you make more than Oldtom, so from now on you are required to pay 10% more than what Oldtom pays.

        • Pablo Jones

          It is all about perspective. Would I spend $40,000 to only make $5,000. No. Would I spent $40 if I only got back $5 dollars? It depends on what is achieved. My daughter set up a lemonade stand and my wife spent more of my money than what they made. But what was achieved was that they learned they had to work to make money.

          Next lesson will be on loans and paying them back.

          • Sis Delish

            Did you also submit Sales Taxes to finish the lesson?

  • Denise Caruloff

    i have a copy of that contract..and there are questions that I am asking…

    • oldruss

      It will be interesting to see if the City Auditor provides any information on the revenues received by the city, and the expenditures made by the city in connection with this event. This contract could very well be reviewed by the Auditor of State.

      • johns62

        You are soooo full of bs.

  • Sis Delish

    No worry, Lorain uses Common Core Math to figure out if it got a good deal or not.

    That’s the reason for all the Posts over the past few days in support of the fabulously successful RoverFest–those kids are being taught Common Core economics.

  • Lovinpeaches

    here is my question to all the nay-sayers (Old-Russ)of Lorain. The article states that they often will waive the fee for some groups such as the International festival. There is extra police and fire required over a period of multiple days for that event each year. So before complaining about this and other future events. How much does the International Festival cost the city every year?

    Anyone know?

    • Sis Delish

      It costs more than the City takes in Rent, regardless of the Event, obviously.

    • oldruss

      Fallacious argument. The Lorain International Festival Association is a local, NOT-FOR-PROFIT, civic organization.

      In contrast, Rover Fest was promoted by WMMS, Clear Channel Communications, which, according to this article, claimed on its web site to have annual revenues of $6.2 BILLION (That’s billion with a B).

      We still do not know the total cost to the City or to the Port, and to be fair, we don’t yet know if anything positive will come out of Rover Fest. But, my point has been the same all along. The CITY and the PORT were putting out tax money to stage this event; when Rover and WMMS and Clear Channel Communications should have been not only covering ALL expenses, but also paying the City/Port for use of Black River Landing commensurate with the revenues the event generated (gate receipts of 15,000 X $25 = $375,000, plus gross parking receipts); and in line with Clear Channel Communications overall annual income in excess of $6,000,000,000 per year.

      • loraineritchey

        What the Lorain Port Authority and the City did was called a “loss leader” ( note the 5,200 covered “three” days rental on BRL) a loss leader is done in retail all the time taking a loss on the one product to get customers to come into the store to buy other products some of which are marked up to make up for the loss. In this case… it looks like the city wanted the customers to come into the “store that is Lorain” and show off her other wares… but honestly apart from the event showcase of BRL the way that Broadway looks from Spitzer to the underpass ( which is pretty much the view of those waiting in line – well you be the judge- I suppose my question is was the $40,000 for the “one day ” were all the fire and safety forces ( if indeed RoverRadio was said to be picking up the tab) did he pay for ALL those safety forces or just the safety forces inside the event? Did the tax payer end up paying for the security out side the event and that breakdown even a loss leader has to have some worth. Also from what account were those paid General Fund, economic etc……..

        • oldruss

          If running a “loss leader” is the best rationale the mayor and port director can come up with for using taxpayer dollars to bring in this Rover Fest, when Clear Channel Communications took in over $6,000,000,000 last year, they are truly desperate and foolish men.

          • Pablo Jones

            And lost $770,000 last year.

        • johns62

          CAn you explain how a rental is a ‘loss leader” ? Call down to the Palace and ask what a multi day rental is (setup/rehearsal/ event/ teardown). I work a ton of events, and know how people like the Palace or Stocker do there rentals.

          I hope you look at the books for International as well.
          How much is spent for police / Aux that weekend?

      • disqus_FU49sZij3q

        It was not promoted by WMMS or Clear Channel. I went to the event and nowhere on my ticket was either nor on the parking pass they sent me. Rover does this all on his own. I believe the promoter was CLY Events Inc. or something to that effect.

        But why bother fact checking?

        Also, there was not one WMMS or Clear Channel poster or signage anywhere in the event.

        • oldruss

          The article above mentioned both WMMS and Clear Channel Communications. Perhaps you need to either read the article, or direct your ire at Evan Goodenow, who wrote the article for The Elyria Chronicle Telegram.

          • disqus_FU49sZij3q

            Oh yeah, I forgot, it’s on the internet so it must be true. Sorry

          • oldruss

            It’s in THIS article, about which I was commenting.

          • disqus_FU49sZij3q

            Just letting you know you and THIS article are wrong

          • johns62

            Russ there are MANY errors in the article. He is correct the event wasnt produced by WMMS or CC, but by Rover himself.

          • oldruss

            Can Evan Goodenow or anyone from The Chronicle-Telegram settle this matter?

      • Pablo Jones

        Revenue does not equate to profit. If they may bring in $6 billion across their hundreds of radio stations across the country, but they then pay salaries, wages, compensation, royalties, equipment, electricity, etc. According to their financial records they have lost on average over $500,000 for the last 3 years.

        What you are saying though is that those that don’t have money should pay less and those that have more money should pay more. So if Bill Gates bought a McDouble off the value menu, instead of paying $1 he should pay $1,000?

      • johns62

        for a non-profit they do charge a pretty hefty booth rent at the International and many of these food vendors were churches, so lets not say the festival doesnt make any coin.

        You should look at their books too russ ans denise

  • stillsleepyeyes

    Looks like the work crew is on there phones…………………boots not laced and tied………..nice work rules going on there………………(js)

  • Spsl

    The rental fee is the not the only revenue. For example police costs are being paid by the promoter. Also, the event was not put on by the station or clear channel. All the performers and staff will be paying Lorain income tax. There is a lot more to the picture.

    • Pablo Jones

      The same income tax that a band paying at a bar will pay? It’s doubtful the bands will pay any income tax unless they live in Lorain. But the city can make a case for taxing the profit of the concert if it was done for profit.

    • Bill Love

      Thanks did anybody else read the article they are paying for security there for the city will get their money back for what they paid the police

    • oldruss

      Quoting from the article above:

      “Clear Channel will pay for electricity, security and water for the show — water tanks were used to help stabilize concert stages — as well as for the cleanup. Lorain’s cost for the concert, which includes fire and police services and water, is about $40,000, said Safety/Service Director Robert Fowler.”

  • golfingirl

    It is fine to spend money on the marketing of a city, if there is something to market.

    Face it, Lorain is not a tourist attraction and I doubt those that attended the concert will return for anything else, except another “Roverfest.”

    I am glad the turnout was great, even happier there was little, to no trouble. It was a good day for Lorain, except for the fact they lost money on the attraction.

    I would suggest next year, Lorain use the large turnout and the efficiency of running such an event as a way to charge a higher rent, which will actually make a profit.

    You spend money on marketing to sell a product. Not sure exactly what Lorain has to sell, except the concert itself.

    What exactly will these concert goers come back for, except another concert……hopefully the next one will be profitable for the city.

    • oldruss

      The city doesn’t have to even make a profit. If it breaks even, that’s good enough. All of the businesses lining Broadway will reap the rewards of having such a large crowd in town.

  • golfingirl

    Let’s have ten future events…..

    At a loss of $35k per event = $350k in losses to the city.

    I mean, why stop at only one non-profitable venture.

    It is the government, they can’t be bothered with such minor things as money!

  • JoyceEarly

    “Novak said the $5,200 fee is standard and about $1,200 more than was
    paid by Clear Channel for last year’s concert in Cleveland. He said it
    has been waived for some groups in the past who couldn’t afford it, such
    as organizers of the Lorain International Festival.”

    What? The International Festival doesn’t pay for the venue? The original ordinance that created the port authority stipulated that the port authority report their financials to city council. It’s time for a public record’s request to not only city council, the port authority but the International festival committee as well. I highly doubt the festival “can’t afford” to pay for the venue. The city loses money on the International Festival? How can that be…

  • Denise Caruloff

    the rumor was that rover signed a 3 yr agreement with the city….we now know a source of where that rumor came from..and it wasn’t Justin BIBER…and seen on FB by many.

  • Stan K

    does anyone bother to read these articles before commentary?IT clearly stated that Clear channel will be picking up the bill for security and water.Personally,I would be embarrassed to be half of these posters.Obviously,they possess an education of the average white trash Elyrian

    • oldruss

      The article stated:

      “”Clear Channel will pay for electricity, security and water for the show — water tanks were used to help stabilize concert stages — as well as for the cleanup. Lorain’s cost for the concert, which includes fire and police services and water, is about $40,000, said Safety/Service Director Robert Fowler.”

      So, let’s break it down. “Clear Channel will pay for electricity, security and water for the show.”

      Then, it goes on to say, “Lorain’s cost for the concert, which includes fire and police services and water, is about $40,000, said Safety/Service Director Robert Fowler.”

      That seems to be clear. Lorain’s cost for the concert is $40,000, according to the Lorain Safety/Service Director, and is on top of whatever Clear Channel Communications may be covering.

  • teeky

    I dont suppose using some low level offenders from incarceration to clean up is out of the question. dont want to get verbally attacked here…..just sayin

    • stillsleepyeyes

      unions would complain……….(js)

  • MacdaddyOH

    You haters are derpessing. Black River Landing should become a landfill. Filled with all you finacial wiazards, know it alls and arm chair politicians.
    Reality is Lorain has a gem of a place in Black River Landing. The exposure needs to be repeated over and over for people to come. Advertising is a expensive part of business. (so get used to it haters) The key is the follow up. They (lorain) should be selling the crap out of the success of putting on a 15,000 person venue without someone being killed, raped, or robbed. How about the X-games to Lorain? or The American Idol tour? how about Scotty McCreery at Black River Landing instead of him at Quaker Steak and Lube?
    What’s the capcity of BRL? Is it capable of putting on a function for 30 to 40 thousand people?

  • Rover

    To clarify: the expenses to the city were indeed approximately $40,000. That is ALL reimbursed by me. Let me repeat that – it’s all reimbursed, and the city won’t pay a thing. Period.

    The rest of this message is copied from a post I made on another article:

    WMMS/Clear Channel does not put on the event, my company does.

    The “city workers” in the photo mentioned are workers from the tent company I contracted, Aable Rents. Yep, you guessed it – I’m paying them as that picture was taken.

    To put it into perspective: the event takes 5 months to plan and has an expense budget HIGHER than the ticket revenue someone mentioned above. Yes, HIGHER. The musical acts, the security, the staging/lighting/sound, the video production, the insurance, the transportation, etc. It is no small feat to put an event like this on, and there is significant capital required and many risks.

    The city won’t pay a dime for the event. In fact, I donated over $3,000 of fencing and posts to the city as a “thank you” for all the help. So the next time you’re at Black River Landing and see orange fencing, think of your benevolent friend, Uncle Rover.

    • golfingirl

      Thank you for the clarification.

      The article states:

      “Lorain’s cost for the concert, which includes fire and police services and water, is about $40,000, said Safety/Service Director Robert Fowler.”

      The fact is, there was NO cost to the city. Not sure why the city would make such a statement.

    • rob

      Rover, love the show!
      This is just old fashion paraphrasing and halfassedness by Chronicle Telegrams crack reporter team. They’re like a gaggle of Brick Tamland’s from the Anchorman franchise.

    • oldruss

      Thank you for that clarification.

      However, the Chronicle-Telegram in its Thursday, July 31, 2014, edition is still reporting that Clear Channel will be reimbursing the city.

      “Clear Channel, which earned $6.2 billion in revenue last year, will reimburse the city for all concert costs.”