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Ottawa police investigate major festival theft

By | Published on Thursday 5 July 2012

Escapade Music Festival

Police in the Canadian capital of Ottawa are investigating the theft of $600,000 from the site of the Escapade Music Festival, which took place in the city last weekend.

According to the Ottawa Citizen, it is thought that the money, proceeds from ticket and alcohol sales, was taken from a safe at the festival’s venue, the Ottawa Stadium, by one of the founders of the event’s promoters DNA Presents, who has now gone AWOL.

DNA’s other founding partner, Michael O’Farrell, says he and his accountant went to pick up the monies on Monday, the day after the successful dance music festival’s conclusion, but found they had gone. He initially assumed there had been a miscommunication, and that another partner in DNA had already collecting the funds for banking, but subsequently found that three of the company’s four other partners knew nothing about the money, while the fifth, Nick Vachon, had gone missing.

Quite why Vachon would have taken the money isn’t clear, with one local club owner, who knows the two promoters, telling the Citizen that such an act seems out of character. Though quotes from O’Farrell seem to suggest that relations between the two men, who have been in business together for five years, were already strained. Certainly no one seems to be currently suspecting the involvement of third parties, or fearing for Vachon’s safety.

O’Farrell: “I am heartbroken. This just crushed us, we can’t believe it. We had such a great event and now this happened. I don’t even know how to cope with it right now. I’ve known Nick for a very long time [but have lost my trust in him]. Any other partner we trust 100%. When you have a partner in a company there is no reason why you shouldn’t trust the person. If you can’t trust the person they shouldn’t be your partner”.

This was the third outing for the Escapade Music Festival, which increased in size and was headlined by Avicii and Eric Prydz this year. Police were expected to issue an arrest warrant for Vachon yesterday.