Waterfront festival was a crowd pleaser, but some vendors still waiting for pay

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – On June 27, Waterfront Park was alive with food and music–once the rain stopped. For the hundreds of people who were attended the “Kinfolks Soul Food Festival’ it was a lot of fun, but not so much for the vendors—some are still looking to get paid for their services, so they contacted Call 4 Action.

The Soul Food Festival has been touring the country for years, showcasing high profile R&B artists, but also getting mixed reviews: in some cases, the show has been inspiring, while others have been disappointing.

The Buffalo acts included Bobby Brown, Eric Benet, and Al B. Sure. Members of the cast from the 1970’s sitcom, “Good Times”, were on hand for a meet and greet.

Saturday, June 27, started with a heavy downpour that might have held down the crowd. The stage was sheltered under a big tent–one of many provided by Dave Calhoon, owner of G&R Tent Supply—which might have saved the day, but Dave said he didn’t get much thanks for it.

“We did the work, I gave him a deal on it, cut him a break as best I could to save as much money as I could, and then he stiffed me anyway.”

Calhoon said the organizer for the Kinfolks Soul Food Festival stiffed him for $4,100. His payment was supposed to be in cash, but since G&R Tent supplied the Soul Food Festival last year, Dave had few doubts about getting paid this year.

So, when the organizer couldn’t pay him cash, this time, Dave took a check, “Last year was no problem. So I got the check, banked it, then I got a letter from the bank saying they stopped payment on the check.”

Ball Toilet and Septic of Blasdell which provided the portable toilets also didn’t get paid. General Manager Lori Mount said they are owed $1,075 but when it came time to pay up, they got the same deal from the Soul Food Festival.

“Everything was great, picked up the unit. As far as we knew the event went great,” said Mount. “Deposited the check, and on July 17, the check came back for ‘stop payment’. Called the company, re-submitted the check, check came back twice, again for stop payment.”

News 4 reached out to the festival’s organizer by phone, left a message, but the call has not been returned.

While the Soul Food Festival’s website is still active, the Better Business Bureau reports the Kinfolks Foundation, Inc., of Midwest City, Oklahoma might be out of business–the phone is disconnected. The registered trademark for the Kinfolks Soul Food Festival lists a Jacksonville, Florida address.

Next scheduled stop on the Soul Food Festival tour is Saturday, September 12, in Houston, Texas.

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