O-Town Skips County Fair Gig Early

Pre-fab boy band O-Town took the stage early on Tuesday (Aug. 14) at a county fair in Midland, Mich., and performed for a fraction of those who had bought tickets for the event, fair officials said. B

Pre-fab boy band O-Town took the stage early on Tuesday (Aug. 14) at a county fair in Midland, Mich., and performed for a fraction of those who had bought tickets for the event, fair officials said. Band members appeared on stage 45 minutes before the concert was to start, and they were gone by 8:20 p.m.

Brad Coombs, purchasing agent for the Midland County Fair, said the band asked about three weeks ago for an earlier start time of 5 p.m. instead of 8 p.m., which was listed in the contract and on tickets. O-Town wanted to make the switch in order to accommodate a planned promotional visit to Germany. "It would have been impossible to make a 5 o'clock show work," Coombs said.

About 4,000 to 5,000 tickets were sold, said Tom Valliere, fair manager. The grandstand seats about 9,000. Ticket holders can receive refunds on Aug. 22 at the site where tickets were purchased, Coombs said.

Fair officials anticipated the band might try to break its contract and had court papers drawn up. The papers were served to individual band members and their manager, Michael Morin, after the performance, Coombs said.

"I was trying to straighten this out at both ends," Joe Clayton, O-Town's production manager, told the Midland Daily News.

At 7 p.m., fair security officers blocked entrances to the stage to prevent an early start, but O-Town's crews drove a truck directly to the stage. Although fair officials hadn't turned on the power to the stage, band members grabbed stools and acoustic guitars and sang in barely audible tones for the 350 fans who had come early. Even with the power on for a final round of songs, the performance ended minutes after it was scheduled to begin.

O-Town, which came together on the ABC reality series "Making the Band," performed yesterday on Germany's "Popkomm" television show. Their visit to Germany includes a visit today to the series "Top of the Pops," and tomorrow on "Viva TV Live." Also on tap is a three-city tour of Hamburg (Aug. 19), Berlin (Aug. 20), and Munich (Aug. 21) as part of the BRAVO Blitz Concert Tour. The group is due back in the U.S. Aug. 22 to perform at the Raleigh (N.C.) Entertainment & Sports Arena.


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