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Evel Knievel Days commitee, city dispute over organization

By Jacqueline Gedeon, KTVM Butte Reporter, jgedeon@ktvm.com
Published On: Mar 28 2014 06:25:37 PM MDT
Updated On: Mar 28 2014 08:44:32 PM MDT
BUTTE, Mont. -

The organizer of Butte's Evel Knievel days says the city is trying take over the festival and a bid to license the rights to the Knievel name amount to a conflict of interest.

Evel Knievel Days Committee Executive Director Chad Harrington told us his committee of volunteers have put on 12 successful festivals. But he said the city of Butte-Silver Bow wants a change.

"They came in and told us we were mismanaging it," he said. "There has been no specifics on what the mismanagement is."

Along with that, Harrington said the owner of the Knievel brand name, Evel Knievel's son, Kelly Knievel wants to license the use of the name to the city.

"They want to have the agreement directly between Butte-Silver Bow and Kelly himself," Harrington said.

Harrington worries efforts by the city will take the festival out of the committee's hands.

"Its under jeopardy for our committee," said Harrington.

We took Harrington's concerns to Chief Executive Matt Vincent, who said that's not the case and told us the festival will still go on.

"This comes out of an effort by us to standardize all of our festivals and hold them to the same level of accountability," said Vincent.

Vincent said he doesn't want to take the task of organizing the event from the Knievel Days Committee, he wants to create an operating agreement that he wants to create with all festival organizers.

We also asked Vincent about Harrington's claims of conflict of interest. Vincent is married to Evel Knievel's daughter, and his brother-in-law is license owner Kelly Knievel

"If anything, there would be a conflict if I, as the Chief Executive, would not hold the Knievel Days Festival to the same standard were asking of every other festival," Vincent said.