Several vendors at the Gathering of the Juggalos say they've received bad checks from those publicizing the festival last month near Cave-In-Rock, the (Carbondale) Southern Illinoisan reported.
Hardin County Sheriff Jerry Fricker said his department got a check from promoters Psychopathic Records Inc. as a donation for protective vests, stun guns and other equipment. But that check bounced, Fricker said, declining to specify the amount other than calling it "decent."
"I'm kind of old-fashioned. I waited until the check cleared before I ordered anything," the sheriff told the newspaper.
Event-Tex, a vendor that has supplied power generation and distribution for the event the past three years, has issued a "provisional warning to other industry professionals" about Farmington Hills, Mich.-based Psychopathic Records and its affiliates, saying a $54,000 check for its services this year has not cleared the bank.
Event-Tex owner Patrick Gail said the company has had no issues with receiving payment for the festival before this year, but he said this year has been different and that other vendors also haven't been paid for services.
"The total amount owed from our discussions with the vendors exceeds $300,000," Gail said in a statement.
Psychopathic Records, in a statement Thursday to The Associated Press, said the yearly event is a fully independent festival that has no corporate sponsorship, "and putting on a five-day music festival this ambitious is a very time consuming and expensive process."
"Unfortunately, in our attempt to provide the best possible event for our fans, expenses exceeded estimates and expectations, which we had not previously planned for," Psychopathic's statement read. "The company putting on the event, Juggalo Gathering Inc., has no intention of turning its back on these financial obligations and is in the process of preparing a plan to take care of all vendors. We thank all of our vendors for their understanding."
The festival, held the past several years, draws tens of thousands of people for a week of music and entertainment.
While credited as an economic boost to the region, the event has produced its share of unrest.
Three years ago, fans pelted reality TV actress Tila Tequila with stones, bottles and feces, and one man stabbed another. In 2011, one attendee drowned while trying to swim in the Ohio River. This year, dozens of attendees were arrested on drug-related and disorderly conduct charges.
In an unrelated matter, four people were accused this week in southwestern Illinois' Madison County, east of St. Louis, of spray-painting cars, buildings, fences and the Livingston Village Hall with references to the Insane Clown Posse. They are charged with felony criminal defacement of property and criminal damage to government-supported property.