As Final Preparations Begin For 2016 Zerkapalooza Music Festival - KOAM TV 7

As Final Preparations Begin For 2016 Zerkapalooza Music Festival, Some Joplin Residents Want To Know What Happened With The Last One

Memorial Hall Memorial Hall
Last year's GoFundMe campaign Last year's GoFundMe campaign
Joplin, MO -

Final plans are being put in place for the second annual Zerkapalooza music festival in Joplin next weekend.  The two-day event will feature several bands and family entertainment.  But some Joplin residents say Zerkapalooza's organizer needs to fix what went wrong last year.  One non-profit worker says the event organizer broke a promise he made concerning how he would use proceeds from the festival.

Jon Buck is thinking about the future of Zerkapalooza.

"We have a five year-plan with this festival, to grow this over the next five years," says Buck.

Last year was the music festival's inauguration, and Buck says he organized the event not only knowing about challenges, but expecting them.  We asked Buck if last year's Zerkapalooza broke-even.

"No, it didn't.  The first year...we didn't go into the first year thinking it {would}," says Buck.

Callie Hudson is executive director of Downtown Joplin Alliance, a non-profit organization separate from the city that promotes economic development in downtown Joplin.  Even though Buck says he expected to not break-even with last year's Zerkapalooza, Hudson says Buck still promised proceeds from the festival would go towards an expensive fix of sewer lines at Memorial Hall.

"Downtown Joplin, along with the city, and other entities, certainly felt that a portion of specific proceeds were going to go to Memorial Hall for very specific purposes," says Hudson.

KOAM and KFJX also reported last year, after interviewing Buck, that some proceeds from Zerkapalooza would go towards the Memorial Hall sewer project.

Joplin's city manager says no promises of donations from Zerkapalooza were put in writing.

"There was never any agreement with that organization in place to say yeah, you shall donate a portion of your proceeds to those repairs," says City Manager Sam Anselm.

The city manager says Joplin never received any donations from Zerkapalooza.  

But Buck says he did raise $1,000 for Memorial Hall, in part, by using an online GoFundMe campaign, and spent that money to hire someone to clean carpets at Memorial Hall.  Buck says he decided on his own how he would use that money, and believes he followed-through on his commitment to Memorial Hall.

"I don't really think any of that matters," says Hudson.

After last year's Zerkapalooza, the city spent $40,000 to $45,000 to fix the sewer lines.

"At the end of the day, if you made a very specific promise, and especially within that promise, saying you're going to be one-hundred-percent transparent, that that's important," says Hudson.

Hudson says Buck should still help "reimburse" the city's sewer line fix.  But Buck says he has moved on, and no donations from this year's festival will go towards Memorial Hall.

Click here for more information on this year's Zerkapalooza.


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