A court date has been set to resolve the dispute.
By GUY D'ASTOLFO
VINDICATOR ENTERTAINMENT WRITER
BOARDMAN -- Two performances at the B & amp;B Backstage were canceled Friday when a dispute over rent payments escalated and the property owner shut down the venue.
Friday night's Julie Roberts concert and tonight's Jerry Lee Lewis concert were canceled, according to Dave Roberts, manager of B & amp;B. Shane Owens, who was also on the bill with Roberts, moved his concert to the Dusty Armadillo night club in Rootstown on Friday night.
"This is unconscionable," said B & amp;B's Roberts. "These shows had been planned for months. We're out a lot of money because of this immature action. Ticket buyers are disappointed. Our employees are losing two days of work. We have people coming in from Europe and 10 states to see Jerry Lee Lewis."
Roberts said that sometime overnight or early Friday, the property owner, Tom Komara, had two large construction debris trailers driven into the venue and parked in front of the stage.
A note had been taped to the B & amp;B's ticket office that said, "These vehicles are parked here with the express permission of the owner. Any attempt to tamper with or move these vehicles will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."
"It's breaking and entering as far as I'm concerned," said Roberts.
But Komara defended his actions."There is no dispute over rent payments. These people just don't pay their rent," he said.
Roberts suggested that Komara pay the refund to ticket holders. But Komara said he "absolutely will not give refunds to ticket holders. I have nothing to do with the concerts."
The dispute first landed both parties in court Monday, according to Roberts. At that time, a hearing was set for Sept. 12.
Roberts said he will seek an injunction Monday to get his business reopened. He had not canceled any other shows as of Friday. "The rest of the shows we've scheduled should be safe," he said.
The next concert at B & amp;B is Friday featuring rock band Blackfoot. The next night is Seether, which is sold out, Roberts said.
Roberts said he was withholding paying his rent for several reasons, including the cost of maintenance work. He said he recently had to pay to eliminate a sewer-gas odor at the facility.
Meanwhile, fans of Owens were told of the move to the Dusty Armadillo via announcements on country music radio station K-105.
James Sliman of Rust Records, Owens' management agency, said, "We did a lot of work for this show, running a ticket contest on K-105, so we didn't want to cancel it. The Dusty Armadillo was kind enough to let us move it there. "
B & amp;B's Roberts said ticket sales were strong for the Julie Roberts-Shane Owens show, and the Jerry Lee Lewis show was close to being a sell-out.
Ticket holders streamed into the B & amp;B on Friday afternoon as word spread of the cancellations. Those with Julie Roberts tickets who did not want to go to the Owens show were given refunds. Those with Jerry Lee Lewis tickets were told to hang on to their tickets because B & amp;B is trying to reschedule the show. If the show is not rescheduled, tickets will be refunded.
Jean Martini of Poland stopped in to the B & amp;B after she noticed a sign out front telling of the cancellations. She had tickets to the Jerry Lee Lewis Show. "I'm disappointed," she said. "This is the first show I would have seen at the B & amp;B."