Members of Portland-based band The Ghost of Paul Revere took turns driving the 2,000 miles to Colorado for the first stop of their West Coast tour, scheduled to begin on Friday, Feb. 25, and go into March.
But after parking their van and trailer in a hotel parking lot the night before the tour was to start, things went awry. The band’s trailer, which contained tens of thousands of dollars worth of equipment and merchandise, was stolen despite being secured to the van by a padlock, manager Derek Lombardi said.
The trailer held their drum kit, amplifiers, pedals and cables, as well as the merchandise sold at each of its shows: T-shirts, CDs, vinyl records, stickers, sweatshirts, scarves, pins and bottle openers — all the items needed for a band on tour.
The back parking lot at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in Aurora, Colorado, certainly seemed secure, said Lombardi, who noted that there was a security guard on duty.
That guard said they had not noticed any disturbances around the time of the theft, Lombardi said.
The theft was reported to the Aurora Police, who will assign a detective to the case due to the number of items stolen, said Elizabeth McGregor, a public information officer with the department.
The band has also been told there were no security cameras in the parking lot, he said. McGregor said the police report did not mention nearby cameras, but that any sources of photographic evidence would be examined once a detective takes the case.
The loss was devastating for the band, Lombardi said. But its members’ first thought was to do everything they could to keep the tour going.
They ended up playing in Denver on Friday and will continue on to shows in California, Idaho, Oregon and Washington using rented or loaned equipment with no cancellations on the tour due to the theft.
“These guys are really resilient,” Lombardi said. “They kind of epitomize the vision of a true Mainer.”
This isn’t the first time a Maine musician had their equipment stolen on the road: a similar theft happened to Maine rapper Spose while on tour in St. Louis in 2014.
Besides filing a police report, the band and its management have also notified local pawn shops and signed up for Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace alerts in an effort to locate the items.
The lost merchandise in particular is an essential part of musicians making a profit on the road, the only opportunity for most fans to buy an artist’s items in person.
“It really puts a damper on the tour in terms of making money,” said Lombardi, who will be gathering merchandise items on Monday that he will ship to the band for future dates.
The band has seen widespread support from across the country since it wrote about the theft in a Facebook post on Friday, including a GoFundMe page that has raised nearly $30,000 as of Monday morning. After the band calculates exactly how much was lost, it plans to donate any money over that to a “worthy cause,” Lombardi said.
Support had come primarily from the band’s fans, he said.
“Even as they’ve grown, they’ve really been able to keep this organic fanbase and community nurtured,” Lombardi said. “It goes to show what happens when you do that.”