"We're up for adoption," said promoter
"He told us in the eyes of the committee and most people, we were still the frontrunner to be considered for next year and we should wait, but we can't wait. You have to get this thing going now for next year," Earley said.
Earley said a dozen or more communities have contacted him over the years, looking to lure the series away, "but we stayed loyal to Cuyahoga Falls."
He said he's confident that Rockin' won't remain homeless for long.
"At first we were shocked," Earley said after the meeting with Walters, but now "we see it as a great opportunity to explore other options and venues."
Walters, who became mayor in January, said the new committee is made up of Ward 4 Councilman
They have two goals: review the city's festival handbook and consider alternative Friday night attractions.
Friday night has "been exclusively Earley's," Walters said. "It's only fair that we look at other vendors and do what we think is best for the citizens."
Walters said he has nothing against
While Walters believes it's possible that in the end
In a letter delivered to Walters on Wednesday, Earley stressed the asset the concert series has been to the city.
"When we started in 2004, we were given two goals: make Cuyahoga Falls proud and pay our bills," Earley said. "Our track record certainly shows that we have done both."
Earley said it is a business filled with great fun but great risk.
That figures includes the cost of the band, security, renting the site from the city, sound equipment and advertising, Earley said. He said his income comes from beer sales and food vendors.
Earley would not comment on whether the concert series has fallen victim to a political change in the Falls.
He was hired and supported by longtime former Republican Mayor
But Earley did say Walters asked if Earley would be willing to change the name of his concert series because "he said he wanted to have something that didn't have ties to the previous mayor."
Earley, who owns the well-known concert series name, said his response was, "Not a chance."
Walters acknowledged that some people have tried to make it a political issue. He said he has seen residents on social media suggesting that because Robart is out, Earley should be out.
But Walters said his only interest is doing due diligence as mayor.
"If you ask a thousand people what do they want down there, you'll get a thousand opinions. Country. Big band. Chinese acrobats," Walters said. "I will feel I'm doing my job properly to say we explored all that and could not get Chinese acrobats to come."
Earley said he feels "no animosity whatsoever" against the mayor.
"It hurt us a lot, but I must tell you that the mayor, from Day One, said that he would leave us alone this year and make decisions for 2015, and he has kept his word," Earley said.
There are five concerts left in the series this year, and Earley said he wants them to be upbeat.
"There is no hostility. What we are hoping for over the next four to five weeks is that everyone comes down and share their memories. We are going to have great giveaways and make it memorable," he said.
For the rest of this year's Rockin' schedule, visit http://rockinontheriver.com.
(c)2014 the Akron Beacon Journal (Akron, Ohio)
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