Olympia Music Festival Scammed by Fake Jonathan Richman
Published Aug 30, 2021This past weekend, former Modern Lovers frontman and general indie legend Jonathan Richman was set to perform at LoveOly Summer Fest in Olympia, WA — he just didn't know about it.
As Rolling Stone reports, Mark "Markly" Morrison, a DJ for the Evergreen State College radio station KAOS, reached out to Richman's publicist to try to set up an interview before his performance. However, Richman was completely unaware that he'd been booked for the festival at all.
As it turns out, the Olympia Film Society, which books the festival, had been bamboozled by someone impersonating Richman.
"We are shocked that this happened," Olympia Film Society executive director Audrey Henley said in a release. "We've been booking bands for the past 30 years, and this is a first for us. We hope this does not in any way hurt our relationship with the real Jonathan Richman and that he will return to Olympia soon."
Regarding the "elaborate booking scam," Richman made a statement of his own in the same release:
Hello everyone! This is the real Jonathan Richman! I just heard of your wonderful festival and sounds like an ideal place for me to play someday. No hard feelings on my part and no apologies necessary from the wonderful people at OFS who have invited me and Tommy up to play so many times. Did the guy who called you up manage to imitate my voice pretty good? Cuz if he did, you've got to hand it to him, most people can't do it! But seriously now for just a second, I am sad for any disappointments and expenses caused to the Film Society and the fine people of Olympia. Of course I will come back to play for the Olympians!
Olympia band Oh, Rose headlined in place of fake Richman. Local police are reportedly investigating the scam.