Answers to Roar's Change of Venue
FAQ & STATEMENTS
Did the city submit an invoice for 2018?
No, we asked for one but the Mayor stated that he no longer wanted police reimbursed directly so no invoice was issued by the city for 2018.
Did Roar on the Shore cost city taxpayers $139,000 as indicated by Mayor Schember?
We don’t know. The numbers were revised several times between August of 2018, and March of 2019. We submitted a 5 page response to the listed charges and we never received a response concerning the report. Then the Mayor called in January of this year and stated that it was now time to discuss charges for next year and notified us that we would need to reimburse the city for expenses based on last years charges. None of the charges were substantiated or reviewed.
Did you offer to pay the expenses?
Eventually we did, it was getting to late in the year to do otherwise.
How much did you offer to pay?
We offered to pay one half of the 2018 City invoice of $97,505 minus police protection charges for Monday and Tuesday which were erroneously charged because we don’t open until Wednesday late afternoon. We offered in writing to pay $45,000 for the 2019 event so we could keep it in the city for this year.
What was the response of the Mayor?
He told us that we were using the wrong invoice and that the city adjusted their expenses in March 2019 – 3 months before the event and the new invoice would require Roar to pay $70,000 this year. We stated that we can’t pay that amount and meet our charitable commitment. We were told that if we didn’t agree to pay the $70,000 this year the city would not issue the permits for 2019 less than three months from the program.
What did you do?
We had no choice we could not afford to pay the invoice, so we moved the event to Lake Erie Speedway
Will the gate and concerts remain free of charge?
Yes, Roar on the Shore is committed to keeping cost as low as possible to ensure everyone can afford to participate if they choose. It is precisely why we are making the move.
Do I need to pay for parking?
No, there is ample free parking for bikes and cars.
Why did you move the event?
The cost of City fees made it impossible to continue in downtown Erie. We would need to increase prices significantly for t-shirts, beer, rides and vendor fees, all of which are the only source of income. Vendor permit fees were already doubled for this year by the City and that already meant higher prices at the vendor booths. The money must come from somewhere and in the end, it will come from you. If an event begins to gouge its attendees, they will cease to attend and cease to buy. We moved it to keep it affordable and free.
Why Lake Erie Speedway?
It is the only venue in our area that could possibly hold an event the size of Roar on the Shore. The cost and built-in infrastructure allow us to continue our mission to raise charitable funds and keep the event free and affordable. There is more than enough parking for every bike and we now have restrooms as opposed to “porta johns.” We can keep our vendor prices low and eliminate the City permit fee — which were doubled this year – and that keeps vendor merchandise affordable. We now have stadium seating for concerts and we maintained the Beer Garden concept with premium stage views. In short, it has everything we need to keep our event going for the future.
It is too far for me to travel to Lake Erie Speedway.
We understand, but you realize for others, it is now closer to them. Any time you physically move something it may disadvantage some but advantage others. We all ride motorcycles and we think it is a great ride out to the speedway. It is why we have motorcycles – to ride!
What about coming out there and worrying about getting stopped by Pennsylvania State Police?
We find this question puzzling. Why would you be worried? People have been riding to and from Roar for 12 years. Many of our riders stay in hotels along a 50-mile radius of downtown. It has not been an issue. Roar does not condone drinking and riding. If your intent is to party to the point that you cannot operate your bike safely, then please stay home for your and everyone’s sake.
What is really going on with the City and Roar?
Nothing is going on other than a simple matter of cost. The City needs to cover its expense and we agree with that. You can’t blame the City for trying to cover its cost and you can’t blame Roar because we can’t afford to cover those cost. Roar needs to control its expense to achieve our charitable mission. Some people just refuse to believe that but it’s the truth. Also, Roar is growing at a rapid pace and the downtown area was becoming more and more crowded. When you have that many people condensed in one tight area in a mixed-use environment like a downtown, safety and security become an issue. Roar has been exploring options for several years now.
I am hearing all kinds of rumors about why Roar is leaving.
So are we! We are not leaving, we are moving. Roar will continue and we hope you’ll check it out this year.
Why didn’t you negotiate with the City?
We did. We made an offer it was rejected. That left us with no other choice than to relocate the event.
Have you paid the City fees in the past?
Yes, we paid every invoice ever submitted by the City every year without question.
Who makes money from Roar?
No one, Roar is a 501c3 charitable organization. It is a nonprofit charity event. No person or persons benefit from the income. The money raised goes to a specific charity. In this case, veterans.
I am not coming. I am going downtown anyway.
That’s certainly your choice but we hope you will join us at our new home. What in the world do you have to lose?