ROBERTSDALE — Over a month has passed since the cancellation of Rockabilly Bama Lama, a local, flopped music festival, yet bands and vendors who participated in the event continue to voice …
ROBERTSDALE — Over a month has passed since the cancellation of Rockabilly Bama Lama, a local, flopped music festival, yet bands and vendors who participated in the event continue to voice their grievances about unpaid dues.
This music festival was hosted by CGE Production and was said to have been benefiting a nonprofit, Living Autism US. But how are these two organizations connected?
Who is CGE Productions?
CGE Productions, headquartered in Daphne, comprises three individuals: Judith Galloway, Linda Garrett and Cameron Ellis.
The company formerly advertised various events on their now-deleted Facebook page, claiming to have hosted functions at venues such as the Daphne Civic Center and the Orange Beach Event Center.
These events include Trade Show with A Purpose; Valentine's at the Copacabana; Weddings, Cocktails and Mardi Gras Expo and Fashion Show; and Santa's Royal Christmas.
Upon calling the Daphne Civic Center and the Orange Beach Event Center, these two locations said the only event that occurred was Santa's Royal Christmas. Other events were canceled prior to the event being held.
Despite an email from CGE Productions stating the company's 15 years of operation and 38 employees, their business license, obtained by Gulf Coast Media, details a creation date of Feb. 27, 2022, and their Facebook page was established on Aug. 28, 2022.
Who is Living Autism U.S.?
In a previous article by Gulf Coast Media, it was mentioned that CGE Productions announced this music festival was benefiting Living Autism U.S.
Cameron Ellis, a member of CGE Productions, was claimed to be the executive director of this organization, as per the now-deleted Living Autism U.S. Facebook page, created on the same day CGE Productions made its online debut.
The page asserted its nonprofit status, a claim supported by Judith Galloway in correspondence with Gulf Coast Media, citing "GuideStar nonprofit" status. However, a search in the GuideStar database failed to yield any results for Living Autism U.S.
Living Autism U.S. has previously organized events for fundraising purposes, including "Oktoberfest at Rock Creek Golf Club" in 2019, and local businesses like Page and Pallet, Latte De at Page and Pallet and Fairhope Healthy Foods contributed to their initiatives in 2021.
Bands and vendors still without money
Johnny Angel of Helldorado and a member of local Mobile band The Modern Eldorados, Gretsch Lyles, have reported unpaid dues.
Angel said he has made repeated attempts to contact CGE Productions through Facebook Messenger and voicemail, with no response to date.
Lyles also voiced concerns.
"I became involved with CGE and Judith Galloway through a Rockabilly-themed music festival at which my band had been hired to perform," Lyles said.
"I was excited to be part of the event and was hoping that it would be all that Judith Galloway was promising. I immediately started noticing issues and inconsistencies with her story."
Lyles said Galloway sent him a performance agreement through FedEx.
"The first thing I noticed was that she had altered our agreed upon [fee] for our two performances," Lyles said.
He told Gulf Coast Media that Galloway reduced their rate by $250, but upon contacting Galloway, she assured the band that the original agreed upon wage would be paid.
Lyles said that due to not receiving payment from Galloway, he had to pay his bandmates out of pocket until the amount was paid. To date, The Modern Eldorados have yet to receive the remaining $500 they are due.
Maria and Henry Gavin with Paw Paw's Roasted Corn and More previously told Gulf Coast Media they lost an estimated $2,000. Galloway informed vendors that they would be receiving reimbursement, but the Gavins said that to date, they have not received any payment from CGE Productions.
Checking claims made by CGE Productions
In the email, Galloway said the Robertsdale police showed up to the Robertsdale Coliseum with 10-plus units, trailers and 15 officers.
"We were then told, informed and demanded that this is the requirement that was demanded by the city for the festival. When I stated the contract only required two officers and that was all that was ever discussed and contracted with the city," Galloway wrote.
The CGE Productions member also stated that the Robertsdale Police were "demanding $15,000 payment for the officers for the festival to be paid that day or the gates would be locked and the festival would be shut down."
Paul Overstreet, lieutenant for investigations at RPD, denied these allegations.
"Our requirements that we have in place is we provide security for an event such as that, and that is based upon the number of attendees that are being reported to us," Overstreet said. "It was reported to us that there was a large number of attendees that were going to be there. Eight officers that were at the event on the first day is due to the number of people that was reported to be there."
He recalled that 2,000 attendees was the number Galloway conveyed to them.
Overstreet explained the process his department goes through when an event is hosted at the Robertsdale Coliseum.
"If anyone is going to have an event out there, they have to meet with the representative of the city. They have to provide a head count and other information as well," he said. "That information is conveyed to us, the police department, and we have a set number of officers who get posted to that event based upon the head count."
Band backs out due to "red flags"
"We were skeptical of her red flag behavior and didn't fully expect her to follow through. When she did not pay by the date due that she herself set in place, we sent her an email," Richardson said.
The band mate added that Galloway called him on March 30 informing him that the deposit fee would be paid on April 30.
The Oklahoma native added that his band requested that Galloway not post about them being part of the event until she paid them the deposit.
"She ignored our request and blasted our name," Richardson said.
After not receiving an invoice from Galloway, Richardson made the decision to cancel the invoice and not take part in the festival.
No comment from Ellis
Despite attempts to seek clarification, Gulf Coast Media's efforts to reach Cameron Ellis for comment have gone unanswered.