Llanas’ Summerfest show canceled, PR firm cuts ties following accusations.
Former BoDeans member Sam Llanas will no longer play Summerfest, and the PR firm promoting his new album has severed ties, following a Journal Sentinel report Monday in which Llanas was accused of child molestation.
Tessa Neumann — the 26-year-old stepdaughter of BoDeans’ frontman Kurt Neumann — says that BoDeans’ co-founder and former band member Llanas repeatedly molested her and had sexual conversations with her when she was a child, from 2001 until 2006 or 2007.
Through a series of interviews with the Journal Sentinel, Tessa Neumann said that Llanas first made sexual contact with her when she was 9, and that he forced her to perform hand and oral sex on him when she was 13 or 14.
Llanas denies the allegations. He has not been charged with a crime, and Tessa Neumann has not filed a complaint with police or pursued a civil lawsuit.
By Tuesday afternoon, Llanas’ Summerfest date had been removed from his website’s tour page and the Milwaukee music festival’s website. He was scheduled to play the Miller Lite Oasis — Summerfest’s largest-capacity grounds stage — on June 30, as the direct opener for Third Eye Blind.
“Sam Llanas and Milwaukee World Festival Inc. have mutually agreed that he will not perform at Summerfest this year,” Summerfest officials said in a statement. Milwaukee World Festival Inc. is Summerfest’s parent company.
A representative from ClearWater Harbor in Waupaca, where Llanas was supposed to perform July 1, also told the Journal Sentinel it was canceling his appearance.
Llanas is scheduled to play six other shows this summer in Wisconsin and Illinois.
Through email and Facebook messages, the Journal Sentinel reached out to each of the venues and festival organizers that booked Llanas to see if he was still scheduled to perform.
A representative from Solu Winery in Cascade said they were “reviewing our options.” A representative from Flatland Summer Jam in Macomb, Illinois, confirmed they had received the Journal Sentinel’s message. As of Tuesday evening, the Journal Sentinel had not heard back from the other venue owners and festival organizers.
Baby Robot Media was handling publicity for the album but following the Journal Sentinel’s report Monday ended its campaign.
“Immediately upon learning of the allegations against Sam Llanas, we informed him that Baby Robot will no longer be representing him,” Steve LaBate, co-founder and director of publicity, said in a statement. “We believe Tessa Neumann and have tremendous respect for her bravery in coming forward. Outing an abuser can be extremely difficult and traumatic, and we support her 100 percent.”
On Monday, Llanas echoed a statement he previously gave to the Journal Sentinel on his Facebook page. “I am sickened by the lies the Neumann family have told about me. God help them,” Llanas wrote.