Lake Ozark Festival Receives Fraud Backlash After Lack of Refunds

October 03, 2022
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© Colin Lloyd / Unsplash

Lake Ozark Music Festival is facing fraud accusations, as ticket-holders haven’t received refunds since its July cancellation.

The three-day event, which was supposed to take place on October 6th, promised a lifetime music experience with five stages, A-list attendees, unique activities, and over 30 artists for just $99. 

Although Lake Ozark festival’s ads seemed committed to bringing a 360° approach to music experiences with stunt shows and camper rentals, the organizers suddenly called off the event in July on Facebook. 

They quoted “unforeseen circumstances” as the reason behind the cancellation, adding that ticket holders will get full refunds within 30 days. 

Not only that the music festival didn’t play a single note, but it ended up being more like a Fyre Fest fraud than the Lollapalooza experience it promised. According to an investigation led by Missouri news outlet KRCG, the only festival-goers who received refunds did so through their credit card companies. 

© @lakeozarkmusicfestival / Facebook

But ticket holders weren’t the only ones left in the dark. KS95, a Minnesota radio station, was supposed to be one of Lake Ozark festival’s sponsors.

It even ran a series of ads for the music event – but the event’s organizers never got back to it after.

KS95 broadcaster J.T. Gerlt affirmed that emails never got a reply, phones stopped getting answered, and the radio station “never got paid for the advertisements that they bought.”

The Lake Ozark festival was portrayed as a music event with over 30 artists – and although a headline act was teased on social media, it was never announced.

One band that was supposed to perform was country music duo Malpass Brothers. Band manager Dan Mann told KRCG that the company sent the contract but not the deposit that was supposed to tag along. 

“There was no deposit. The contract stipulates that if he cancels within 90 days, he has to pay me at least half. He’s not going to pay me anything. He’s gone in a wind.”

Since the festival’s cancellation, contact numbers have been disconnected and its official website has been taken down. KRCG’s investigation further revealed that Mike Leffingwell, a key figure in Lake Ozark festival, has a criminal history of fraudulence. 

According to court documents, Leffingwell presented himself as a NASCAR driver. He promised 10 Missouri investors hefty sponsorship sums – which led to a fraud victim case totaling $200,000 in damages. 


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