A festival in Olympia, Washington has been scammed by a person pretending to be singer-songwriter Jonathan Richman.
Richman, the former frontman of The Modern Lovers was booked to headline the LoveOly Summer Fest event on Saturday night (August 28), before organisers discovered it was a scam, as The Olympian reports.
The hack was uncovered when local DJ Mark ‘Markly’ Morrison contacted Richman’s publicist Debbie Gulyas on Friday (August 27) to organise an interview with the artist at the festival.
When receiving the request, neither Gulyas or Richman knew anything about the singer’s supposed booking at the festival, and his headline set was then cancelled.
The festival is booked by the Olympia Film Society, who say they were contacted on the phone by someone purporting to be Richman, asking to be booked for the festival.
“We are all confused,” Gulyas told Morrison over email when discovering the scam.
Olympia Film Society executive director Audrey Henley added in a statement: “We are shocked. We’ve been booking bands for the past 30 years, and this is a first.”
In the same statement, Richman added: “I just heard of your wonderful festival, and (it) sounds like an ideal place for me to play someday.
“Did the guy who called you up manage to imitate my voice pretty good? If he did, you’ve got to hand it to him. Most people can’t do it.”
Festival season 2021 is well underway in the US and UK following the removal of COVID-19 rules on large gatherings.
Earlier this month, promoters Live Nation confirmed that they will require all artists, crew and attendees to show evidence of full vaccination against COVID-19, or a negative test, at their venues and upcoming festivals in the US.