The four year old Pemberton Music Festival cancelled without warning last week. In addition to many angry ticket holders who have little chance of getting their money back, Mark Geiger, the powerful head of music at super-agency William Morris Endeavor has declared war on everyone involved in the festival.
Just weeks after revealing their 2017 lineup, organizers for the Pemberton Music festival announced that the event was canceled and entering bankruptcy. Slated to run July 13 to 16, Pemberton this year was to have featured a lineup that included headliners Chance the Rapper, Muse and A Tribe Called Quest, as well as Major Lazer, Haim, Run The Jewels.
2017 would have marked the 4th year for the revived festival, which was first launched by Live Nation in 2008 and then revived in 2014 under Pemberton Music Festival, LP. The revival appeared to be a success and last year, the festival drew record crowds of more than 180,000 fans over four days to the small town in British Columbia.
Huka Entertainment: "We are heartbroken."
Huka Entertainment, Pemberton's contract producer said: "For the past four years Huka Entertainment has worked to create a one-of-a-kind experience in the most beautiful place on earth. We are heartbroken to see the 2017 Pemberton Music Festival canceled. "As a contract producer, Huka did not make the decision to cancel the Festival. That decision was made by the Pemberton Music Festival, LP. We are extremely disappointed for our fans, artists and all of our partners who have supported the festival over the years."
Speaking of extremely disappointed fans, Pemberton organizers announced that as part of the bankruptcy 2017 ticketholders would not be eligible for automatic refunds and must instead file claims as unsecured creditors. By the time the festival went under, 4-day passes for the event were selling for $369 each, while VIP Tickets were $899, and 'Super VIP' tickets cost a princely $1,799.
Pemberton is the second major festival in the region to fall in recent years after the Squamish Festival was canceled last year.
WME's Mark Geiger Declares War
WME head of music Marc Geiger leveled a broadside against the organizers of the Pemberton Festival, following the event's abrupt bankruptcy announcement last week.
"I want each of them to know 'I coming after you personally,'" Geiger told Billboard in an interview. "We're going to pursue all of these people to the full extent of the law."
In the interview, Geiger accused Huka Entertainment's A.J. Niland and Evan Harrison, Pemberton land owners and investors of fraud after Pemberton organizers disclosed that ticket holders would need to pursue refunds in bankruptcy court. "This is fraud, pure and simple," Geiger told Billboard's Dave Brooks. "The only difference between Pemberton and Fyre is that Pemberton sold their event with trees instead of supermodels."
Representatives for the festival's investors did not respond to a request for comment, Billboard said.
via Celebrity Access