Desert Hot Springs - The biggest music festival ever to hit Desert Hot Springs has been postponed for a second time and now city leaders are speaking out. "We've heard that line six months ago, he came up there with that grin and no new information", said council member Karl Baker about the event promoter Tony Clark.
The city announced Tuesday at a council meeting that the Wellness World and Music Festival is now slated for fall 2011.
During the meeting and even the next day, the council was verbally frustrated with the festival's promoter, Tony Clarke, the owner of Tresed Ventures, LLC. The day after the so-called presentation Baker made it very clear by saying, "There really was total inadequate preparation".
If held in the Spring, the concert would be overshadowed by Coachella Arts and Music Festival and the Stagecoach Country Music Festival, according to Clarke.
Clarke said the weather in the Fall also better.
His speech was short in length and council members said it was also light on substance.
Clarke didn't want to have anything to do with News Channel 3. He bolted out the council meeting as soon discussing the festival was over. "No interviews right now gentleman," said Clarke.
But News Channel 3 wasn't the only one left with unanswered questions.
Minutes before leaving the building, Clarke delivered a five-minute speech to the city.
Council members weren't satisfied.
"We have egg on our face and we're depending on you to wipe it off," said Councilwoman Jan Pye. "Real quick."
Clarke said he will announce the final dates of the concert in the Fall.
But he didn't explain how he has spent the $250,000 the city has already paid him.
City Manager Rick Daniels said the concert was postponed in September because it wasn't properly marketed.
"Mr. Clark, I've lost total confidence in you," said Councilman Karl Baker. "I firmly believe the city should posthaste, dissolve any relationship we have with you. If we can salvage anything from this, so be it."
"I heard everything," said Clark. "You were there, I was there and I just don't have anything to say right now."
The contract status of the intended headliner, Ziggy Marley, is unclear.
Hotels and restaurants can't plan for a festival without dates set in stone, and questions are still being raised about Clarke and whether or not he is qualified to be the promoter of the festival.
"A lot of people have been trying to find out what that resume is," said Councilman Russell Betts.
Clarke was hired without a request for proposal -- he was the city's first and only choice for the job.
The term of his contract ends in June and it's unclear if the city will extend it.
A performance clause was not included in his contract -- he gets paid whether or not the concert goes on.
In the parking lot Clark promised us an interview next week. Our calls to him have not been returned.
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