d Community Development Manager Faye Stewart organized the donation of a fencing system through the Bohemia Foundation to ensure only ticket holders found their way to the show. Bohemia Mining Days' (BMD) advertisements featured press-packet photos of the band and the concert was held in a city-owned park.
The Home Free concert held during last summer's Bohemia Mining Days festival was meant to help give a financial boost to the four-day event, with organizer and BMD board member Joel Reiten promising to give the proceeds to BMD after subtracting what it cost him to put on the show, plus 10 percent. Four and a half months later BMD hasn't seen a dime and Reiten has resigned from the board.
Reiten, who brought the band, Home Free to Cottage Grove at a cost of $25,000, said the festival will end up with at least $3,000 of the $3,950 profit after the new year.
"It’s been a great privilege to have served on the board of Bohemia Mining Days for the past three years. I am now stepping down," Reiten said in a statement. "It’s important for a small town to preserve its historic identity and use it as an educational tool as well as a unifying force within the community. The importance for these local festivals continue to driving factor for many smaller Oregon cities to demonstrate community commitment and involvement that leads to spurring business interest and in local investments."
Reiten Entertainment invested the initial $25,000 fee charged by Home Free as well as just over $4,042 in media which included $500 to KNND, $2,247 for an Interstate-5 billboard and $400 to KPNW radio for on-air advertisements.
It also spent $4,000 on sound equipment and $2,071 on labor which included services provided by family members who flew out to Oregon. Reiten paid for their travel and then donated the money back to BMD.
In total, financial documents provided by Reiten show a total of $35.456 spent to put the concert on.
Ticket sales came in at just over $33,530 while food and drink earned $5,876 and a percentage of merchandising brought in a little over $2,000.
The Home Free concert garnered a profit of $3,950.
"Unfortunately these types of festival continue to more and more costly," Reiten's statement continued. "The expense of insurance, necessary security and infrastructure, everything for power to toilets is increasing.
I believe that it’s somewhat irresponsible to think that public and private donations will continue to support any growing festival and it’s the responsibility of the festival to be as self sustaining as possible. It was in this vain of thought that I tried the Home Free Concert. While moderately financially successful, it showed that a venue of this size can be successfully pulled off! I apologize for the angst that it caused the rest of the board members," he said.
Reiten previously told The Sentinel that having sponsors for a concert would be ideal and that it was an avenue he may explore in the future.
He cited questions about the finances related to the festival behind his decision to release the information.
"I can’t say enough about the support of the City of Cottage Grove the Stewart family the Cottage Grove Riding Club and many others in the community that helped to make this a success," Reiten's statement ended, noting, "Hopefully we can do it again!"