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News August 10, 2016

Ticket reseller viagogo seeks US$1.6M+ from SFX

Former Editor

Despite filing for chapter 11 bankruptcy in January, SFX Entertainment continues to be kicked while it’s down.

Ticket reseller viagogo is taking legal action against the EDM conglomerate, which owns Australia’s axed Stereosonic festival.

According to IQand revealed in a recentSEC filingfrom SFX’s bankruptcy court proceedings, viagogo is seeking in excess of US$1.6 million for an alleged breach of contract.

In June 2014 viagogo and SFX inked a US$75 million five-year global sponsorship deal which made viagogo the exclusive ticketing partner for “no less than 50 events” promoted by SFX. viagogo also became the official sponsor for certain concerts and events. At the time, SFX’s portfolio included festivals Stereosonic, TomorrowWorld, Tomorrowland and Electric Zoo.

According to the SEC filing in the Delaware bankruptcy court,viagogo asserts: “SFX breached various material provisions of the agreement, some of which are not curable, including, among other things, the cancelling of certain Major Events.

“Likewise, SFX has alleged breaches of the agreement on the part of viagogo,” the filing adds. “During the parties’ correspondence over the past two years, both parties have disagreed with each other’s position while at the same time attempting to reach an amicable resolution.”

As pointed out by IQ, viagogo’s claims can’t be paid while SFX is in bankruptcy protection. This is why viagogo have requested relief from the Automatic Stay; this means viagogo, along with all creditors, is barred from collecting any debts but it is requesting that the Stay be removed.

Meanwhile, the rumour mill is churning with possible rescue plans for SFX. As previously reported in TMN, independent booker Windish Agency, artist management groupTmwrkand music management consultancyMtheory, have formedThe Unison Fund, an investment fund looking into buying festivals. However, in July the former CEO of ­entertainment giant AEG Live, Randy Phillips,was reportedly offered Robert FX Sillerman’sCEO job.

SFX’s hearing date is set for August 30 at Delaware’s bankruptcy court. During the proceedings the court will consider both viagogo’s relief from Automatic Stay request and the request to bring on Phillips as an interim CEO.


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