Last year, the much-discussed beef between the War On Drugs and Sun Kil Moon mastermind Mark Kozelek started at the Ottawa Folk Fest, when Kozelek got pissed off about the War On Drugs’ sound bleeding over into his set. This weekend, Kozelek was supposed to return to Ottawa to play a set at the CityFolk Festival. But he canceled his set because of another beef, this one with the festival’s organizers.
On the Sun Kil Moon touring page, Kozelek writes that the date has been “cancelled due to unorganized promoters,” and he’s shared links to three news articles about the festivals put on by festival organizer Mark Monahan. One is about local noise complaints after last year’s Ottawa Folk Fest, and two are about a stage collapse that happened while Cheap Trick was playing 2011’s Ottawa Blues Fest. Kozelek hasn’t made any further comments on the cancelation, but Monahan has.
Talking to the Ottawa Sun, Monahan calls the cancelation “unusual and unfortunate” and says that his dispute with Kozelek was “blown out of proportion” during an email exchange. According to Monahan, things started to go badly when festival organizers emailed Kozelek to get all the particulars of the show figured out: “And because we have multiple people contacting him about transportation and catering and stage management, he’s suggesting that we’re disorganized.” Monahan claims that Kozelek responded with a “profanity-laced ultimatum,” which certainly seems like the kind of thing he’d do, and then canceled his set.
Monahan also claims that Kozelek tried to get himself back on the bill after canceling but that Monahan refused: “My response to him was that he cancelled the show and he’s free to make any comment he wants to.” That’s when Kozelek posted those links to older articles. So that’s Monahan’s side; it seems likely that we’ll get an eight-minute song on the next Sun Kil Moon album explaining Kozelek’s side.