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JUNE 10 - JUNE 18, 2014

Why Not Investigate $700,000 Hard Rock Café Concert Series?

By Mike Hudson

June 10, 2014

While law enforcement officials acting on a tip from a woman with ties to the administration of Mayor Paul Dyster want an accounting for every penny of a $15,000 contribution received by Rick Crogan for a privately organized arts festival here, they've shown no interest at all in what happened to the more than $700,000 in taxpayer money handed over by Dyster to the Seminole Tribe of Indians through it's Hard Rock Café concert series here.

The position taken by Hard Rock officials and their Native American superiors is that the restaurant is a private business and, as such, not subject to audits and other messiness despite the massive amount of public money the city has poured into it for Mayor Paul Dyster's Hard Rock concert series.

Dyster himself is also unconcerned. He serves as master of ceremonies at the Hard Rock events and is the star of the show. He has a hand in choosing what bands play the shows, boozes it up with them backstage, and then gets to walk out in front of the crowd, seize the microphone and pretend he's a rock star himself.

There are 124 Hard Rock Café's located in cities around the world and only one of those cities is presided over by a mayor who is at once so gullible and egotistical that he pays the company public money to stage events that improve its bottom line.

That city is Niagara Falls, N.Y., and that mayor is Paul Dyster.

Anyone who was truly interested in rip-offs and fraud surrounding the concert promoting business here would do well to look at the Hard Rock series. Dyster pays as much as $40,000 for each event. What the Hard Rock pays the bands is another matter.

Concert booking sources in Hollywood, for example, told the Niagara Falls Reporter that one band that played the series, Sugar Ray, could be booked for around $10,000 at the time of its Niagara Falls appearance.

Mayor Paul Dyster loves to appear on stage at taxpayer funded concerts. And, as you can see, by the time he gets on stage, the mayor is feeling no pain.
Only the audience is.

Dyster gave the Hard Rock $40,000 for the show and no one thought to ask what happened to the other $30,000.

A wildly extravagant promoter might spend double what he paid for talent on advertising, sound equipment, auxiliary personnel and other costs associated with staging an event, which might bring the total cost of the Hard Rock's Sugar Ray concert to $20,000. That would leave $20,000 unaccounted for.

Certainly, the hipsters who run the Hard Rock wouldn't pay $40,000 for a $10,000 band, so where did the money go? Why haven't Dyster, the city police or the county Sheriff's Dept. investigated the Hard Rock like they did Rick Crogan?

Is the mayor's sway with local law enforcement such that he can control what is and is not investigated, who is and is not charged?

Will the Hard Rock be brought in to "rescue" Crogan's Niagara Falls Music and Art Festival? Will Dyster serve as MC and sit backstage downing taxpayer-funded shots with the taxpayer paid traveling band members he favors?

It remains to be seen.





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