New Questions Raised About Nashville Bike Week

Posted at 6:52 PM, Mar 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-03 17:49:52-05

Is it going to happen or not?

That's what motorcycle enthusiasts have been asking about "Nashville Bike Week" ever since NewsChannel 5 Investigates first raised questions about the event and its promoter several weeks ago.

And, now the Better Business Bureau is sounding the alarm.

"There's not anything but red flags," Kathleen Calligan, head of the Middle Tennessee Better Business Bureau, cautioned.

The BBB is now warning consumers about Nashville Bike Week, the ten day motorcycle and music festival set for Humphreys County in September.

The BBB included the event in its latest release of "Products and Services that Middle Tennessee Can Do Without," asking what many have asked in recent weeks, "Will the show go on?"

Calligan said she is skeptical based in part on the man who's running the show and his history.

"We know this individual. We know the companies that he's operated in the past. And there's a pattern. And the pattern is taking money in advance and services not performed," Calligan explained.

Mike Axle also known as Michael Leffingwell has been arrested repeatedly around middle Tennessee and out of state for theft and writing worthless checks. There are outstanding warrants for him now both in Tennessee and out of state.

The BBB gave his company Got Concrete an F a few years back after customers complained that they paid him for work that he never did.

Now the BBB is concerned about how Nashville Bike Week is handling refunds. Several weeks ago, Loretta Lynn's Ranch cut ties with the event because they hadn't been paid. A new location still has not been announced. Some who bought tickets have asked refunds. Initially, promoters promised they'd return customers' money. But the event's website recently added a warning that says no refunds will be given.

"Yes, we know of some consumers who have got refunds, but the vast majority have not," Calligan shared.

Nashville Bike Week claims that it will soon announce a new location for the event and that the new location has been approved by the state.

But the Tennessee Department of Health tells NewsChannel 5 Investigates that Mike Axle has not even applied for the required permit needed to not only hold the event, but sell tickets. He's repeatedly been warned, yet continues to ignore the law.

"Even if the promoter was not who the promoter is, the red flags are still huge big red flags that say caution, stop, don't pay in advance, don't count on it," the BBB's Calligan said.

NewsChannel 5 Investigates has repeatedly called the Nashville Bike Week office and no one answers and there is no voice mail.

The BBB meanwhile says if you do want to buy tickets, your best bet in a situation like this, is to pay with a credit card so even if you can't get a refund from promoters, you can at least get a charge back from your credit card company if the event doesn't happen.