ON AIR NOW

LISTEN NOW

Weather

cloudy-day
63°
Partly Cloudy
H 82° L 67°
  • cloudy-day
    63°
    Current Conditions
    Partly Cloudy. H 82° L 67°
  • cloudy-day
    79°
    Afternoon
    Partly Cloudy. H 82° L 67°
  • clear-night
    74°
    Evening
    Mostly Clear. H 82° L 67°
LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest top stories

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest traffic report

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest forecast

00:00 | 00:00

Local
Emails show no promise of solution, some confusion on Boat Show/Oyster Jam scheduling
Close

Emails show no promise of solution, some confusion on Boat Show/Oyster Jam scheduling

Emails show no promise of solution, some confusion on Boat Show/Oyster Jam scheduling
Photo Credit: Action News Jax

Emails show no promise of solution, some confusion on Boat Show/Oyster Jam scheduling

The Southeast US Boat Show and Oyster Jam Music Festival isn’t taking place this weekend, but it has been rescheduled.

The event organizer Jimmy Hill, with Current Productions, says they have booked Met Park for May 19-21. This comes after their announcement earlier this week that the event would not take place this weekend- because they had never formally booked the venue. 

The City and Hill confirm there was an outstanding balance from the 2016 event that initially prevented Current from booking the venue. That debt wasn’t resolved until the end of January, but at that time, Met Park had been booked by the organizers of Welcome to Rockville, to use for moving in and setting up for their event the following weekend. The City of Jacksonville says they facilitated between The Boat Show/Welcome to Rockville to try to work out a plan that would have allowed both to occupy the space this weekend, but that ultimately didn’t lead to an agreement. Hill says the City had given him verbal and informal commitment that a deal would be reached, and he trusted that the event’s 20 year history with the City would mean that was enough. 

To sort through the commitments and communications, WOKV requested all of the written communication between Current Productions and Jacksonville’s Sports and Entertainment Office over the last year in connection to the Southeast US Boat Show and Oyster Jam Music Festival. Hundreds of emails show there were warnings from the outset that there was no guarantee a compromise would be reached, but there was nonetheless substantial confusion in the final weeks about what would actually be taking place. 

This all started in May, when Current Productions emailed a request for the dates. That was followed in June, with a formal application for the 2017 show. Call logs show there was a brief conversation that day, and then a June 24 email shows the City sending notice of final settlement needed for the 2016 show. On July 28, a Special Events Permit Coordinator followed up again to remind Current Productions about the payment, specifically adding that they cannot move forward with any 2017 agreement until that payment is received. 

Another reminder was sent in August, at which point Current Productions responded that they were working on paying the bill, but faced some financial constraints because of a boating accident. 

In August, a special events permit coordinator sent a list internally of a dozen events scheduled for Met Park in 2017- including The Boat Show/Oyster Jam April 21-23, and Welcome to Rockville April 28-30. At the time of this internal email August 29, the City had received an application from The Boat Show/Oyster Jam, but not yet from Welcome to Rockville. 

About two weeks later, the Special Events Manager emailed details about 2016 events with outstanding balances. The Boat Show was listed with a $12,711.24 outstanding balance, and Welcome to Rockville had an $84,213.63 total still outstanding. The email indicated that the Special Events Office had been in touch with representatives of The Boat Show, but that follow-up had been spotty. 

September 30th, a memo to Current Productions was drafted offering a four-part payment plan as final notice to settle the 2016 balance or be sent to collections. That was sent October 13th, according to the City emails, with the first deadline being the next day. The Special Events Manager noted the next day that they had not heard back from Current, and at that time, the Sports and Entertainment Officer notified Current the balance was being moved to collections. 

An internal email toward the end of October shows Welcome to Rockville’s promoter, Danny Wimmer Presents, cleared their 2016 balance with the City, and by November, emails show they had submitted their application for Met Park for 2017. 

A November email indicates Current Production had called the City. That was followed about a week later with a meeting in person. An email from the Tax Collector’s Office shows Current Productions then tried to start making payments, but a December internal communication among the City shows the check bounced for insufficient funds. 

December 16th, the Sports and Entertainment Officer notified Current Productions that the check had bounced, and that they would now be responsible for not only the payment, but a $317.78 service charge as well. Current emailed a response that they believed the check should have had sufficient funds, and were researching what happened. 

Communication started to pick up in January, when Current reached out to the City about getting the 2017 event on the City’s calendar. Welcome to Rockville had already booked the dates, so the City responded that the venue was not available, and that Current still had the outstanding balance from 2016- which meant they did not have any dates reserved for 2017. At that time, the balance was down to $6355.62, with the other portion having been paid December 22nd. The final balance was paid January 31st. 

An email from January 31st from the City shows a schedule of events at Met Park, so the Boat Show/Oyster Jam organizers could consider an alternate date. That same email said the City would reach out to Danny Wimmer Presents, but that there was no promise of a work-around. Current Productions engaged Danny Wimmer Presents to explore working together on the Boat Show/Oyster Jam dates. 

In early February, some representatives of the Mayor’s office and senior staff got involved because of a complaint from Current Productions that they weren’t getting calls back from various City representatives. A meeting was established with all parties to explore a potential workaround that would allow the Boat Show/Oyster Jam to take place on the desired weekend. 

Following that meeting, Jacksonville’s Chief Administrative Officer emailed the Mayor’s Office to say they had met, and that the City was offering only to assist them in exploring whether Welcome To Rockville’s organizers would agree to some kind of special arrangement. Throughout the months of correspondence, the City notes that Danny Wimmer Presents 

A March 8th email from the Special Events Manager notifies the Sports and Entertainment Officer that Current Productions is telling people they will be at Met Park, and he’s unsure why. They had been looped in after Current reached out to the City’s special events management company to ask about parking during the event dates. 

On March 9th, a City Councilman asks the Special Events Office whether a date had been set for the Boat Show, and the Sports and Entertainment Officer responded that they were looking at the second to last week of April, but that they were working through paperwork and logistics. By March 19th, and internal communication showed the office still didn’t know the “direction of the boat show”, and that they were getting a lot of inquiries from entities, including JSO, their event management company, and others. That still hadn’t been resolved by March 24th. 

Some insurance information was sent from Current Productions to the City March 28th. That was followed March 29th with an email requesting a coordinated conversation about logistics for the event in order to ensure they would not impact Welcome to Rockville. Internal emails showed there was still no resolution, and then on April 4th, an executive with Danny Wimmer Presents requested a phone call. 

The ensuing days were filled with frequent communication, but little consensus. Current Production emailed their tentative site plan, but that was followed with questions about scheduling, liability and insurance, and other areas. The City made clear they would not assume any risk or incur any cost to accommodate the plan. 

On April 11th, Current Productions questioned whether the City’s “assurance of a solution” was firm, because there had not been much progress on the administrative items that would need to be done, like getting a written agreement. The same day, the Sports and Entertainment Officer again intervenes with all parties, emailing details of Current’s proposal. Danny Wimmer Presents responded that they still didn’t have enough details to commit- specifically looking for more about the load-in and load-out schedules and the time needed to clean the park between events. They further asked to be indemnified by both the City and Current from any loss that resulted from the dual occupancy and requested a damage deposit. Subsequent emails expressed concern about what this potential agreement would mean to their event timeline, the cost that would have, and whether Current planned to cover those costs. 

While this communication was ongoing, questions started surfacing among those not immediately involved in the negotiations. An Intergovernmental Affairs Director reached out to the Special Events office on April 12th to confirm the Boat Show was set, saying she had been getting questions from Council members. The Sports and Entertainment Officer responded things were not confirmed, restating that Danny Wimmer Presents has the space and Current Productions had not yet met their terms for dual occupancy. 

On April 14th, a Met Park Operations Supervisor reached out to Special Events saying he assumed the Boat Show would take place because the production company was having equipment delivered. The Special Events Office said that was not the case. 

The City had set an April 13th deadline, and when the Sports and Entertainment Officer engaged both parties on the 14th, Danny Wimmer Presents initially said there had not been an agreement, but Current Productions followed up saying they had agreed to all conditions. Danny Wimmer Presents followed up again saying it was the first time they had been told Current agreed to the conditions- but there were questions that still hadn’t been addressed, one of which being Danny Wimmer Presents wanting Current Productions to show they could guarantee to cover certain losses that could arise from a late move-out. 

By this Monday, the City told Current Productions to notify its customers that their event would be rescheduled- if they so choose. The City told them they were willing to work to immediately identify another date, if the organizers wanted to pursue that route. 

Throughout the correspondence, the City makes frequent reference to wanting to accommodate all parties, because both promoters had been longstanding partners with the City. All sides were complementary and showed willingness to work to reach a solution. 

Hill says the Southeast US Boat Show and Oyster Jam Music Festival has now been rescheduled for May 19-21.

Read More
VIEW COMMENTS

There are no comments yet. Be the first to post your thoughts. or Register.

The Latest News Headlines

  • Months before authorities said he walked into a Florida high school and killed 17 people, Nikolas Cruz was reportedly filmed shooting what appears to be a BB gun in his backyard. >> See the video here According to CNN, the video appears to show Cruz, the 19-year-old police say was behind Wednesday's deadly mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, pointing a BB gun outside his house. The person in the video waves the replica weapon around, aims and shoots toward the fence surrounding the house. >> VIDEO: Florida school shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz shown fighting students in 2016 The footage is thought to have been taken by a neighbor in October 2017. >> Florida school shooting: Teacher of the year's emotional Facebook post goes viral Cruz reportedly has a history of disturbing behavior. According to police reports obtained by CNN, Cruz was accused of being violent toward his late adoptive mother, who once told Broward County sheriff’s deputies that Cruz had expressed an interest in obtaining a gun and cut his arms 'for attention.' Classmates also said Cruz was abusive toward his ex-girlfriend, the New York Post reported. >> Read more trending news  The Federal Bureau of Investigation was previously alerted to Cruz and threats he allegedly made online, including one about wanting to carry out a school shooting. Read more here.
  • An Uber Eats driver who police said shot and killed a customer in Atlanta turned himself in Monday afternoon and claims he acted in self-defense, his attorney said. >> Watch the news report here Only WSB-TV's Tom Jones was there when Robert Bivines, 37, arrived at the jail with his attorney. The Atlanta Police Department's Homicide Unit secured an arrest warrant for felony murder on Monday. The shooting happened at a condominium on Pharr Road in Buckhead on Saturday night. Police said Ryan Thornton ordered food from Uber Eats, and the driver delivered the food around 11:30 p.m. Authorities said words were exchanged between Thornton and the driver. >> PREVIOUS STORY: Uber Eats driver accused of killing customer turns himself in The Uber Eats driver then shot the 30-year-old, police said. Thornton died at Grady Memorial Hospital.  Bivines' attorney, Jackie Patterson, calls this a case of self-defense. 'This is a case where my client had no choice but to defend himself,' he said. Patterson said Thornton was irate about the amount of time it took for his food to arrive. He said Thornton was aggressive, and as Bivines walked away, Thornton made a threatening move.  'He turned around, put his hand in his pocket and said, 'I'm going to [expletive] you up,'' Patterson said. Patterson said Bivines was afraid to wait to see what Thornton had in his pocket, so he said he defended himself. Jones asked Patterson why his client, who had only been on the job less than a week, didn't just drive away. >> Read more trending news  'You can't drive away when someone is coming at you with your window down,' Patterson said. Bivines will be taken to the Fulton County Jail. He will have a first appearance before a judge Tuesday. Uber sent WSB-TV a statement Monday saying Bivens no longer has access to the app: “We are shocked and saddened by this senseless act of violence and our hearts go out to Ryan’s friends and family. We have been working with the Atlanta Police Department, and the driver can no longer access the app” A spokesperson for Uber told WSB-TV that Bivens passed a background check. Bivens was an Uber Eats delivery partner only and did not drive passengers. Uber is working with the Atlanta Police Department on this investigation. Morehouse College sent the following statement:  'The Morehouse College community is mourning the passing of Ryan Thornton who was was shot Saturday in Atlanta after ordering a late dinner from UberEATS, according to police reports. 'Thornton, 30, was a recent graduate of Morehouse College. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science in May 2017, and had started a new job. 'Morehouse faculty, staff, and administrators on Monday were shocked and saddened by the news of Thornton’s death. Employees in Morehouse College’s admissions office said they worked closely with Thornton and described him as being friendly, hard-working, and determined to become a Morehouse Man.  'President David A. Thomas said that the Morehouse community stands at the ready to support Thornton’s family during this difficult time. “ ‘The loss of another young life to gun violence is tragic,' Thomas said. 'Ryan was an ambitious student with so much promise. He was well-respected by his peers and highly regarded by his professors. We at Morehouse College will keep Ryan's family in our thoughts and prayers.’ ”
  • Years before he was accused of killing one of his Uber Eats customers in Atlanta this past weekend, Robert Bivines had been arrested on aggravated assault charges in DeKalb County, Georgia, according to jail records.  >> Uber Eats driver accused of shooting, killing customer claims self-defense, attorney says But the nearly decade-old offense wouldn’t have been flagged by Uber’s driver pre-screening process because it only tracks criminal records as far back as seven years, according to the company’s website. Potential employees are subject to a driving history screening and, if cleared, undergo a criminal background check in national, state and local databases, according to the Uber website. The company said Bivines passed a background check and had been with the delivery company for only a week before the deadly shooting.  >> On MyAJC.com: Court upholds young mother’s conviction for killing newborn “We are shocked and saddened by this senseless act of violence and our hearts go out to (Ryan Thornton’s) friends and family,” Uber Eats said in a statement. “We have been working with the Atlanta Police Department, and the driver can no longer access the app.” Details of the 2009 assault case were not immediately available Monday, but Bivines pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of battery in May 2010, according to court records.  >> On MyAJC.com: R. Kelly evicted from N. Fulton homes, owes $30K, court documents show He was sentenced to one year of probation and ordered to have no contact with his victim. Bivines was also banned from the five-county metropolitan area. Online court records do not indicate how long the ban was enforced.  Bivines, 36, turned himself in Monday afternoon, two days after Atlanta police say he shot and killed Thornton, a recent Morehouse College graduate, after delivering food to the 30-year-old’s Pharr Court South condominium. The shooting was caught on surveillance video.  About 10:45 p.m. Saturday, Thornton placed an order with Tin Lizzy’s on Piedmont Road through the Uber Eats app, according to an Atlanta police report. Bivines was listed as the delivery driver.  “The victim went down to meet the driver, received his order and began walking away from the vehicle,” Atlanta police spokesman Carlos Campos said in a statement. “As the victim was walking away, it appears words may have been exchanged between he and the delivery driver.”  Thornton went back to Bivines’ car, and that’s when things turned deadly.  Atlanta police said four shots were fired through the passenger-side window. Bullets landed in Thornton’s torso.  >> Uber Eats driver accused of killing customer turns himself in As Thornton fell to the ground, Bivines drove away in his white Volkswagen, police said. Thornton called his girlfriend, who administered aid. He was pronounced dead at Grady Memorial Hospital.  Thornton graduated from Morehouse in May 2017 with a political science degree and had recently started a new job, a spokeswoman for the school, D. Aileen Dodd, said in a statement. While there, he worked closely with those in the admission’s office, who described him as “friendly, hard-working and determined to become a Morehouse Man.”  Morehouse President David A. Thomas said the college “stands at the ready to support Thornton’s family during this difficult time.” “Ryan was an ambitious student with so much promise. He was well-respected by his peers and highly regarded by his professors,” Thomas said. “We at Morehouse College will keep Ryan's family in our thoughts and prayers.” >> Read more trending news  Bivines’ attorney, Jackie Patterson, said the surveillance video doesn’t tell the full story.  Patterson told WSB-TV that Thornton — upset about the delivery time — threatened his client and motioned toward his pockets: “My client had no choice but to defend himself.”  Bivines is due in court at 11 a.m. Tuesday. 
  • An Uber Eats driver who police said shot and killed a customer turned himself in Monday afternoon. >> Read more trending news According to WSB-TV, Robert Bivens, 37, arrived at the jail with his attorney. The Atlanta Police Department's Homicide Unit secured an arrest warrant for felony murder Monday. The shooting happened Saturday night at a condominium on Pharr Road in Buckhead, Georgia. Police said Ryan Thornton ordered food from Uber Eats and the driver delivered the food around 11:30 p.m. At some point, authorities said words were exchanged between Thornton and the driver. The Uber Eats driver then shot the 30-year-old, police said. Thornton died at Grady Memorial Hospital.  Uber said in a statement on Monday, saying Bivens no longer has access to the app: “We are shocked and saddened by this senseless act of violence and our hearts go out to Ryan’s friends and family. We have been working with the Atlanta Police Department, and the driver can no longer access the app.” A spokesperson for Uber told WSB-TV Bivens passed a background check and had only been an Uber Eats driver for about a week. Bivens was an Uber Eats delivery partner only and did not drive passengers. Uber is working closely with the Atlanta Police Department on this investigation.
  • The man allegedly behind the fatal Florida high school shooting apparently has a disturbing past that is coming to light. A school fight that was captured on camera a little more than a year ago is the latest development. >> Click here to watch Authorities said 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. Cruz was formerly a member of the school’s JROTC program before being expelled. >> Florida school shooting: Teacher of the year's emotional Facebook post goes viral A September 2016 video shared by ABC News shows Cruz wearing a white shirt and khakis while fighting with other students. Cruz was reportedly handed a two-day suspension following the incident. >> Family who took in Nikolas Cruz: 'We just didn't know' According to ABC, the fight was one of five documented incidents that caused school administrators to expel Cruz, mandating his transfer to another high school in February 2017. >> WATCH: Florida school shooting survivor Emma Gonzalez slams politicians, NRA in emotional speech Another incident that reportedly contributed to Cruz’s expulsion was his alleged fight with his ex-girlfriend’s new boyfriend. Cruz was allegedly abusive toward her before they broke up. >> Read more trending news  The massacre at the high school marked the 25th U.S. school shooting in which someone was killed since the 1999 shooting at Columbine High School.

The Latest News Videos