Multitude of entertainers previously advertised to appear before music venue changed. (Click to enlarge)
The Bobby Publido presentation cancelled by organizers, despite prior advertising.
By H. Nelson Goodson
August 18, 2011
Racine - On Wednesday, Guadalupe "Wally" Rendon, Director of the Racine Fiesta Mexicana confirmed that the music venue focusing on regional Mexican music had been changed at least seven days before the August 12-14 lakefront festival. The sudden move was to make sure festivalgoers would get the best entertainers for the weekend. Rendon realized several weeks before the event that a promoter wasn't fulfilling his part of a contract agreement to bring the previously advertised groups. He had to cancel his contract with the promoter just in time, to allow the bookings of other groups to fill in time slots.
Rendon and Luis Enrique Martínez from L.E.M. Marketing and Productions in Milwaukee had entered into a contract agreement to bring Bobby Pulido and at least 22 Mexican groups in a package deal to Fiesta. Martínez offered a package deal that included artists of regional Mexican music. He printed posters and then turned them over to Rendon for distribution around Southeastern Wisconsin that Pulido and the groups would be playing at the Fiesta Mexicana in Racine last weekend. Most of the main groups that Martínez had promised to bring didn't appeared due to the cancellation of his contract, except a few, according to Rendon.
Rendon and Board members from the Hispanic Business and Professional Association, Inc. (HBPA) who operates the Racine Fiesta Mexicana decided to cancel Martínez' contract, which included the groups for the event. Martínez contract cancellation occurred once it was apparent that Martínez wasn't providing concrete documents and flight or travel confirmations the groups were actually appearing in Racine, according to Rendon.
The contract agreement between Fiesta organizers and Martínez would have provided Martínez with 25 percent of the beer revenue generated during the three day festival. But, he had to bring the groups to Fiesta and attract festivalgoers, Rendon explained.
At the last minute, Rendon had to change the program venue and was able to get other groups, including the Puma de Sinaloa. Rendon explained, that Martínez had requested some money upfront from the Board to help pay a deposit for Pulido. The Board refused, since Martínez previously promised he would take care of the contracts with the groups himself. The Fiesta Board tried to get information about Martínez credibility in the music industry, but found no one that could vouch for him. The Fiesta Board "after some discussion and the fact that we had no upfront money, we opted to give him the opportunity to bring that type of entertainment. We felt that for Martínez to make money, he needed to book entertainers that would bring people in and spend money consuming beverages," Rendon wrote in an e-mail.
Publido did received a $3,000 deposit from Martínez, but several other groups couldn't confirm to Rendon that a deposit was sent by Martínez. Two weeks prior to Fiesta, when contacted Michael Salgado told Rendon that Martínez hadn't sent a required deposit of $2,000 for a Sunday performance. Rendon re-negiotiated a deal with Salgado and was then booked for Friday. Rendon suspected that Martínez wasn't sending deposits to the groups and the Fiesta Board decided to move forward and get groups for Fiesta without Martínez.
Martínez when contacted on Wednesday says, that Rendon and the Board from Fiesta Mexicana contacted Jorge Ochoa from Promociones 8a in Florida to notify him that Martínez contract was cancelled, which included Pulido and the other groups, according to a letter dated August 6 from Ochoa provided by Martínez. Ochoa who offered a group package deal to Martínez could not be contacted to confirm the letter in question. According to Ochoa's letter, Rendon wanted to negiotiate a contract with Ochoa and leave out Martínez from the deal. Ochoa refused to remove Martínez from the contract agreement. Martínez confirmed when interviewed, that Pulido and the groups were going to perform at Fiesta provided the Board wouldn't have cancelled his contract.
Rendon was able to get the Puma de Sinaloa to come to Racine, which was one of the groups Martínez had originally contracted. Since the incident, the Puma de Sinaloa is no longer being represented or booked by Ochoa due to "unethical and lack of moral standards" for independently negiotiating with Rendon.
Martínez had worked along with Fiesta Mexicana before June and was allowed by Rendon to use their letter head, according to a June 6, e-mail Rendon sent Martínez. Martínez says, he has about 50 e-mails in which Rendon corresponded with him concerning the Fiesta.
Martínez confirmed that Pulido and 22 other groups had been booked to perform at the Racine Fiesta Mexicana. A third stage was also included that would feature Bachata and other music, but that Rendon cancelled it leaving Martínez in the hole. Martínez admitted that he had asked the Fiesta Board for some money upfront inorder to pay for Pulido's flight to Wisconsin.
He planned to book the groups at other events and dances to help pay for the groups, as band promoters usually do. Rendon said, that Ochoa had informed him some of the groups Martínez was bringing were going to also play in Waukegan at the Sundance over the weekend. One of the stipulations in the contract was that the groups wouldn't perform within 150 miles from Fiesta Mexicana in Racine, and Martínez was breaching the contract, according to Rendon. Martínez disputes Rendon's contract stipulation and says he was never notified by Rendon that the groups were prevented from playing within the 150 miles of Fiesta.
But when the Fiesta Mexicana Board decided to cancel his contract, Martínez was left with advertising expenditures and responsible for paying back monies that several vendors had paid to participate at Fiesta.
On the contrary Rendon said, "As a result of all these acts being cancelled, we had ten days prior to the event to book and locate other bands that would fill those vacant time slots on the program. How did it affected us?, was that now we had to spend money that we did not need too or could afford too as well."
Rendon says, he was unaware that Martínez had used the Racine Fiesta Mexicana logo on contracts for vendors to participate in the event until days before the event. When vendors began contacting the organizers and showing up at the event. Martínez collected between $500 and up to $1,500 per vendor spot at Fiesta, but he never informed or turned in the vendor paid requests to organizers.
The vendors were promised in a contract by Martínez that publicity in Telemundo Wisconsin, Univision, also through post cards, posters, billboards and a vendor space of 10'x10' would be included. Martínez never held his side of the contract, according to a vendor. Martínez said, his unexpectedly removal from Fiesta prevented him from honoring the vendor contracts.
One of the Martínez food vendors was allowed to participate at the Racine Fiesta Mexicana after organizers waived the fee, due to feeling sorry for the people involved. The second vendor was not allowed to participate, according to Martínez.
Rendon believes, that Martínez had taken advantage of unsuspecting vendors and is now considering taking legal action against Martínez.
José J. Hernández, Director and Editor of El Mañanero Newspaper in Milwaukee said, that Martínez had agreed to place several black and white full pages about Pulido and other groups coming to the Racine Fiesta Mexicana in exchange for sponsorship, exclusive interviews with the singers and space at Fiesta. The pages were published in the Mañanero Newspaper editions 86 and 87. But when Hernández contacted Martínez for an update, he would respond that he was so busy and Hernández shouldn't worry about anything. That was the last time Hernández heard from Martínez.
Hernández contacted Rendon within two days from the event. Rendon told Hernández he didn't know anything about El Mañanero deal with Martínez. Rendon notified Hernández that Martínez was no longer with the Racine Fiesta Mexicana and that he had left major problems for the organizers, according to Hernández.
Martínez said, he did make an agreement with Hernández and that he personally gave Rendon a copy of El Mañanero's newspaper with the ad for Fiesta. But since, he no longer was associated with the Fiesta, he could not honor the agreement with El Mañanero.
Martínez strongly believes that he became a victim of circumstances and Fiesta's Board lacked enough confidence that he would actually present Pulido and the groups at Fiesta. He is now contemplating about taking legal action as well.
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