April 10, 2008
By Baylie Davis
To learn more about Cheyenne Frontier Days and Matchbox Twenty's withdrawal, go to ShameOnCheyenne.com
CHEYENNE - Approximately 4,000 Matchbox Twenty tickets will have to be refunded after the band announced its decision to cancel its scheduled July 18 performance at Cheyenne Frontier Days.
Contract Acts Committee chairman Joe Lopez said CFD has made a commitment to getting those refunds out without any problems.
So far, he said, the phones have been busy, but callers have been "comfortable" with receiving their full refunds, and there haven't been any issues.
Second only to getting out refunds is CFD's commitment to finding a replacement for the opening-night slot, Lopez said.
He expects to be able to make an announcement about the replacement act by the end of this week or early next week.
The closing night act also has been booked, but Lopez said he cannot reveal who will be performing yet. That announcement is expected in the next day or two, he said.
Although an official comment from Matchbox Twenty about the reason for the decision to cancel had not been given by press time Wednesday, the band apparently cited animal abuse concerns at the rodeo as its explanation.
In 2006, American Idol winner Carrie Underwood canceled her CFD appearance, also citing animal abuse concerns.
Whether the concerns will hinder the booking of other acts in the future is unknown, said Lopez.
Both Lopez and Charlie West, the general chairman for CFD, said until they get confirmation that Matchbox Twenty canceled because of the videos that SHARK - SHowing Animals Respect and Kindness - recorded of alleged animal abuse, they will not speak about the frustrations that the issue may bring in the future.
"We're in the dark on a lot of this," West said Wednesday.
Lopez said he is working to get an "honest answer" from Romeo Entertainment Group - the promoter for the concert - about the band's rationale for pulling out.
A spokeswoman at Romeo Entertainment Group, Margaret Ryan, said Bob Romeo got an e-mail from the band Tuesday evening that said the band's manager advised that the date must be canceled. No further explanation was given, Ryan said.
She added that Romeo is meeting with his attorneys and "looking into what his course of action might be here."
Lopez and West expressed their disappointment and frustration with Matchbox Twenty's decision.
"If they were that concerned, they should have stated that at the time (of booking)," Lopez said.
As of press time Wednesday, a Matchbox Twenty spokesman had no comment about the cancellation.