|By Holly Meyer Journal staff
Axl Rose was not to blame for Guns N’ Roses late start at the Rock ‘N Rev festival Friday night, according to Dan Catullo, a festival founder.
It was a technical glitch that took longer than expected to fix, he said Sunday.
The Rock ‘N Rev’s 30-camera video crew was busy working on its equipment after Alice In Chains left the stage, Catullo said.
As a result, Guns N’ Roses did not start until about 12:50 a.m. Saturday, even though they were scheduled to play around 11:30 p.m.
The late start upset some of those at the concert who threw beer bottles and cans at the stage while waiting. By the time the band took the stage, some members of the crowd had left the Rock ‘N Rev amphitheater at Monkey Rock USA near Sturgis.
Many assumed it was the fault of Axl Rose, who is known for showing up late or not at all. Catullo said that was an erroneous assumption in this case.
“I just don’t like people becoming a fall guy or getting blamed for things when it’s not their fault,” he said. “I thought I needed to clear the air.”
Catullo said Rose was ready to take the stage by 11:30 p.m.
“I feel bad. He was the most insanely professional gentleman that I ever met,” said Catullo, who spent about 30 minutes with Rose after the performance. “He came and did his job exactly as contracted.”
The technical breakdown came when Guns ‘N Roses opted to use its own sound equipment instead of the consoles provided by the festival, which the video crew was using for communications and to direct a video for a DVD of the festival, Catullo said.
On Friday afternoon, the crew realized this would be a problem, but they couldn’t correct it without affecting other bands, so they waited until after 11 p.m., when Alice In Chains left the stage, Catullo said.
No announcement, however, was ever made to the crowd explaining the delay.
Festival spokesman Randy Alexander apologized Sunday for not informing the crowd about the technical problems.
“It took longer than expected,” he said.
Catullo said they believed the problem would be resolved at any moment, and as a result, it never occurred to them to inform the crowd, especially since no specific time was set for Guns ‘N Roses to take the stage.
“It’s not like the place had a curfew that it closed at a certain time,” Catullo said.