Michigan Showboat Company Files for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Relief
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Michigan Showboat Company Files for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Relief

August 13, 2013


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Just a few weeks after cancelling an annual concert 24 hours before it was supposed to start, the leaders of Michigan’s Chesaning Showboat Music Festival have filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, according to a report from the Bay City Times.

The president of the company, Scott Hewitt, filed for bankruptcy in U.S. District Court in Bay City. The festival’s petition says it has less than $100,000 in assets, but more than $250,000 in debts, according to sources.

In recent years, a wave of performance companies have filed for bankruptcy, including orchestras, theater groups, musical theaters, and similar operations.

After the recession struck, consumers reduced their spending on entertainment, which put a serious debt in the total revenues of entertainment companies across the country, many of which had to find solutions for debt relief.

The Showboat Music Festival was no exception. According to Hewitt, who responded to reporters through a written statement, the "largest contributor to the shows' cancellation was the lack of ticket sales."

The first sign that the festival was in trouble was when it cancelled its event on July 15. Sources say the event was supposed to feature KC and the Sunshine Band, the Charlie Daniels Band, Bret Michaels, and Theory of a Dead Man.

But on the day before the event, organizers were forced to cancel it due to low ticket sales, and the Showboat Music Festival now owes a significant amount of money to several different people.

Most notably, the four bands scheduled to appear are all listed as creditors in the festival’s bankruptcy filing, and they may be collectively owed tens of thousands of dollars, according to reports.

Sources note that the company already paid $25,000 to the agency representing Bret Michaels, but that it still owes the musician and former reality television star $35,000.

In addition, the festival still owes roughly $20,000 to the members of Theory of a Deadman, as well as KC and the Sunshine Band and the Charlie Daniels Band.

Finally, the music festival is also looking to discharge a $50,000 debt owed to Star Tickets, a Michigan-based outfit that served as the ticketing agent for the summer festival and has already filed a lawsuit against Hewitt and the company.

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