Roxodus Music Festival's Fab Loranger Stays Silent
This article has been updated to include a statement from Mike Dunphy of MF Live Inc.
“We are honest and transparent,” Loranger said.
Taurus Projects Group Inc. is this week trying to distance itself from Loranger and MF Live Inc., the company behind Roxodus.
A woman who answered the phone at the Fort Saskatchewan headquarters of Taurus Projects Group Inc. said that Loranger does not work there and she has not spoken to him “in over a year.”
The woman said the company has no connection to MF Live Inc.
According to public records, MF Live Inc. is registered in Fort Saskatchewan – and an environmental impact study commissioned by MF Live Inc. was submitted in May 2019 to Loranger at the Fort Saskatchewan address of Taurus Projects Group Inc.
Loranger’s LinkedIn profile lists him as president of Taurus Projects Group from “Oct. 2006 -present” and owner from “July 2015 - present.”
A “Leadership Team” link on the Taurus Projects Group Inc. website currently displays an error message. The cached version shows Loranger as "owner."
Loranger has not lived in Alberta for some time, according to his estranged brother Robin (they had a “falling out” about three years ago, Robin told iHeartRadio.ca). Fab retired to Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont., where he lives in a modest home on a piece of property nestled among vineyards with wife Diane Martin and their two children (she also has a child from a previous relationship).
Repeated calls to the home went to voicemail.
The four-day event, which was scheduled to kick off July 11 at the Edenvale Aerodrome in Clearview Township, boasted headliners like Aerosmith, Kid Rock, Nickelback, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Alice Cooper. The cancellation announcement, first reported here, came in a press release that quoted Loranger.
Milan Kroupa, owner of the Edenvale Aerodrome, told Barrie Today that Loranger asked him on Tuesday if he wanted to buy 137 acres of land adjoining the airport that was purchased last year in anticipation of the festival.
Loranger was raised in Earlton and the Temiskaming Shores in Northeastern Ontario, studied architecture at Algonquin College, and moved to Toronto to take on construction work. He ended up in Alberta after a stint working construction in Germany.
Loranger created MF Live Inc. with Mike Dunphy, his childhood friend, who lives in Wasaga Beach, Ont. (The company name comes from the pair's first initials.)
In a presentation to Clearview Township in March to pitch Roxodus, Dunphy boasted about his 25 years of commercial construction experience and said he has lived in the area for more than 13 years. He also spoke about the success of the annual Wasaga Beach Motorcycle Rally he organized. (Days later, he announced this year's Rally was cancelled.)
Dunphy didn’t tell council members about Dauphin Media Group, the company he ran that closed down in 2012 amidst accusations of making off with an estimated $500,000 in subscription fees and allegedly stiffing its Toronto landlord.
Records show the Roxodus domain was registered to the ostensibly defunct Dauphin Media Group in October 2018.
“We became aware of his background as the process moved on,” Clearview Township mayor Doug Measures told iHeartRadio.ca on Friday. “We learned a lot more about each of these individuals.”
Measures said he also knew MF Live Inc. was an Alberta company but insisted the township did its due diligence and everything it could to protect taxpayers.
Still, the mayor said he had early doubts about Roxodus.
“Right from the start I had great suspicion,” he admitted. “We are a small municipality and for a large event like this to come to this community is, on the surface, an exciting opportunity for us. But there are so many moving parts involved. It’s difficult to pull off.”
Measures said he knew the festival wasn’t going to happen when he noticed no activity on the property over Canada Day weekend.
Does the mayor feel like Clearview dodged a bullet? “I won’t speculate on that,” he said. Asked what he would say now to Loranger and Dunphy, Measures replied: “I have nothing to say to them."
The Huronia West detachment of Ontario Provincial Police is investigating a complaint against a former employee of MF Live Inc. but will not name the individual. Sgt. Jason Folz did not return a call seeking more information.
In a statement issued Friday evening, Dunphy played down his role with Roxodus.
"Many rumours are floating around regarding my involvement with the Roxodus Music Festival cancellation and status of ticket holder refunds. My role at MF Live was that of Talent Buyer/Operations. I did not sign contracts, issue cheques or control funds received from ticket sales. I have not stolen monies as widely rumoured on social media.
"I was not involved with any decisions regarding the Roxodus Music Festival at the time of its cancellation. Eventbrite is the ticketing partner with whom Roxodus sold tickets. They alone have all purchaser information. Since I am not in control of financial items regarding Roxodus, I cannot communicate the plans for refunds."
Dunphy's brother Don Dunphy, contacted by telephone, refused to answer any questions. "I can't give out any information," he said, when asked if his brother is still in Ontario.
Publicist Damien Nelson said she no longer represents Roxodus. "After distributing the cancellation announcement on July 3, we have not received any further information about refunds, or when an update is expected after repeated requests," she said, in an email.