Local promoter Charles Collins Jr. apparently has no shame.
Despite the fact that Collins’ concert last fall called Rock-N-Country Music Bash at the Columbia County Fairgrounds was a complete embarrassment and a total disaster, it appears he is back to his old tricks with the announcement of a new music festival during Masters Week.
Under the name, Turn On Your Radio Music Park, Collins announced last week that he plans to present the first annual “AugustaPalooza: 19th Hole Music Festival” from April 7-12. The Insider has learned the plans are to build Regency Mall into a fantasy land of enterprise and entertainment, turning the Regency mall parking lot into a venue for concerts year round,a two story flea market, climate controled storage, a game room and a trade show facility. All at the former movie theater.
This lengthy seven-day festival currently does not have one musical artist scheduled to perform on its website, turnonyourradiomusicpark.com. Everything is still “to be announced,” including the ticket prices. Yet we did find two out of state entertainers with the event in their schedule. When contacted, they were short on details. One thought it was an annual event coinciding with the tournament .
Each day of the festival is scheduled to have a different theme. For example, Monday, April 7, is “Spring Break Kickoff,” Wednesday, April 9, is “Country Artist Divas Night,” and Friday, April 11, is “Bike Night.”
The only day that does list prices is Sunday, which is “Park & Ride” day. Apparently, the public can purchase a two-passenger pass that provides transportation to and from the Augusta National on Sunday, April 13, for $275. That price does not include a concert that day, only transportation to and from the tournament, security parking and a “breakfast meal” for two. If you want a four-passenger pass, the price jumps to $375.
A curious dilemma facing Collins appears to be the location of this seven-day festival. Neither the website or Turn On Your Radio Music Park’s Facebook page lists the location of the inaugural AugustaPalooza. Patriots Park shows up in one place, but his heart is at Regency Mall.
Turn on Your Radio Music Park does have an account at www.myfundingplace.com requesting donations to help acquire an eight-room theater and stage equipment to conduct “performances professionally.” Some locals suspect that Collins is also referring to the former Regency Mall site in this request, but that location is never specifically named.
As of yet, no one has made any donations to the cause. But he does have 33 days left to raise his requested $100,000 goal.
The Metro Spirit attempted several times to contact Collins, but he did not return any phone calls seeking comment.
But few can forget the train wreck that was the Rock-N-Country Music Bash at the Columbia County Fairgrounds last November.
On Friday, Nov. 22, there were between 20 and 30 people at the concert the first night of the two-day music festival. From there, the crowd grew. Smaller.
A black limo circled the fairgrounds while Firefall performed to 12 or so concertgoers. Saturday night Juice Newton performed in front of eight to 12 people.
During the show, there appeared to be more staff on the fairgrounds than concertgoers.
In contrast, the scale of the operations was as if they were setting up one of the stages for Music Midtown in Atlanta. Those within the industry estimated that the stage alone was around $25,000 to rent.
Supposedly, Collins agreed to pay each of the bands in the neighborhood of $20,000 each and the out-of-town financial backer, who paid for the entire November event, allegedly lost a quarter of a million dollars.
A week after to the three-day festival, a woman named Jill Miller posted the following on Collins’ Turn On Your Radio Music Park Facebook page:
“Charles Collins… when are you going to pay for the Awesome Racing song you had made???? When are you going to pay my daughter for the hundreds of hours she spent on your site and trying to help you build your business… you must still be dreaming and anyone working with you or performing for you or booking with you needs to know who they are dealing with… a con-man ……. stop wasting peoples time and money and lying out your a$$ ! You owe, you owe and everyone knows you are a POS … you messed with the wrong mom… you screwed my daughter over …pray I never meet you…. try to mess with me or her or anyone else and there will be a class action suit against you… that is what happens when you boast and brag and lie about you and your when pigs fly dreams and in reality are pissing and ripping everyone off.”
That seems to be the way Collins operates.
Last fall, the Metro Spirit revealed that Collins was convicted in 2010 on eight counts of obtaining property by false pretense and one felony count of passing a worthless check in North Carolina.
He was sentenced to 285 days in jail and given four probation sentences of eight to 10 months each and ordered to pay restitution of $11,830.
Back in 2009, Collins apparently claimed that he was going to revive the North Wilkesboro Speedway in North Carolina that had been dormant since 1996, but he never actually paid his vendors and didn’t stage a single race, according to the Winston-Salem Journal.
Following Collins’ arrest in North Carolina, investigators discovered outstanding fugitive warrants for him from Florida and Georgia. The Florida warrant charged him with felony counts of contracting without a license during an emergency and third-degree grand theft. The Georgia fugitive warrant stemmed from a 2002 probation violation that said Collins owed $15,182 in restitution.
After serving his time in prison, Collins eventually made his way to Augusta.
In 2013, Collins had announced that he planned to have several concerts in south Augusta, but those concerts never materialized.
He even discussed building an amphitheater on property along Phinizy and Peach Orchard roads, but that never happened either.