It's been over two weeks since the 2016 edition of Moonrise Festival wrapped up, but just because the media circus has blown over doesn't mean that its organizers have finished sifting through the fallout. After we broke the news that the event's security staff had extorted an alarming number of attendees, Steez Promotions Partner and Talent Buyer Evan Weinstein set up an email hotline for those affected to present their testimonials that has yielded approximately 150 direct complaints regarding extortion.
The complaints are the culmination of accounts detailed in hundreds more emails sent to Weinstein in the days after the festival drew to a close. However, he told us that he was relieved to open up the inbox today and find relatively few new ones.
“There were only 38 new emails, and they were mostly follow-ups," Weinstein said. "There were maybe five new people who reached out.” He previously told Magnetic Magazine that he had made it a point to reply to each email individually, even though many of those who had contacted him separately had witnessed the same incident.
At several points in our conversation, Weinstein re-emphasized his intention to do right by those negatively impacted by the actions of security guards working the festival. He explained:
We’re still replying to emails, and I would say there were 150 direct complaints about security - direct complaints in a sense of extortion. Even people who didn’t have something taken are being sent paperwork to fill out and we’re logging their complaints, and that’s where we are in the process, really, making sure we do our due diligence - and we wanna make this up to fans. We’re taking this thing very seriously, and we’re gonna investigate to the fullest extent and take all the appropriate action that we’re able to take.
Weinstein was not at liberty to disclose what he meant by "appropriate action," but made it a point to explicitly state that the individuals responsible would be held accountable. "We are going after them," he said flatly. "We’re gathering these accounts so that we can make sure that this never happens again - not only at our festival but any other festival."
In addition to the direct complaints of extortion, Weinstein did mentioned that there were an additional 200 or so reports of "rude, unprofessional or inappropriate behavior" by security guards. In regards to who he might have meant when he said "them," he told us that he estimated 98% of the total complaints to have been filed against employees of 24Hour Security.
Although he's still unable to discuss the details of how he plans to resolve each case of extortion that occurred at this year's Moonrise Festival, Weinstein encourages anyone who experienced wrongdoing on the part of the event's staff to speak up. "If people still wanna reach out then they should, because we’re trying to log everything to get the full scope of what went on," he said.
If you found yourself on the receiving end of harrassment, extortion, gross negligence or otherwise unbecoming security staff behavior at Moonrise Festival in Baltimore earlier in the month, make sure to email your testimony to SecurityIssues@MoonriseFestival.com.