After announcing that a Capital Hoedown update would come on Friday, calls went straight to organizer Denis Benoit's answering machine all afternoon.
A statement arrived hours later stating that all scheduled interviews will be postponed until Monday, "due to a last minute change that has effected (sic) the purpose of the statement."
Mr. Benoit was expected to discuss the festival's future, including a new venue for the homeless event and the status of its lineup which has seen all-star performers dropping like flies amid complications.
The festival spent its first year at the Rideau Carleton Raceway in 2010, moving to LeBreton Flats in 2011, and aiming for Walter Baker Park this year.
Because the festival failed to pay the required $150,000 on time, however, the city announced that the festival would not be permitted to rent the Kanata park.
Hoedown organizers scrambled until the owners of Stittsville's Numech Ranch offered their property on Fallowfield Road. The city announced late June, however, that zoning bylaws prohibit the festival from being held there, sending the event into another tailspin just over a month before the scheduled concert dates on August 10-12.
As stories of failed Hoedown venues clogged local news, so too did updates of performers pulling out of the line-up. Reba McEntire, Brad Paisley, Terri Clark, Sheryl Crow and Ronnie Dunn have publicly cancelled their scheduled performances. Media reports have also speculated that country music star Taylor Swift has removed the Capital Hoedown from her tour schedule.
For weeks, the festival's web site has consisted of one page reading, "We'll be right back!", asking viewers to try again in three days. The lack of information has left ticket-holders in limbo not knowing who will be headlining the concerts.
A total of 47,000 concert-goers attended last year's Hoedown at LeBreton Flats, an increase of 147 per cent from the inaugural year's attendance of 19,000 in 2010.
The many complications sharply contradict what Mr. Benoit expected this year. Following the success of 2011's festival, he predicted there would be few changes to the venue or organization in 2012.
"There were just no problems, and I don't know there will be too many things different next year," Mr. Benoit said in a 2011 interview with OBJ.
Ticket holders will be granted full refunds upon request via cheque in the mail from Front Gate Tickets, the company in charge of the festival's payment processing.