Hearne: Promoters Sue Kanrocksas; Story Behind the Story

fun+PNGMove along folks, nothing to see here…

About that lawsuit filed Monday by concert promoter Mammoth – messrs Josh Hunt and Jeff Fortier – against Kanrocksas promoter Bill Brandmeyer and (more importantly perhaps)  MMF, LLC. The one in which Mammoth claims “the defendants misrepresented and misled Mammoth as to their intentions, causing great economic harm to Mammoth. The defendant’s actions have effectively destroyed Mammoth’s business and ruined the company’s reputation and ability to do business in the music industry.”


One of the area’s top concert promoters claiming it’s effectively out of the biz based on its booking 78 acts for Kanrocksas, which canceled like a month and a day prior to its scheduled liftoff June 28-29 at the Kansas Speedway.

Before I wade into this total mess…

Let me first say, this was an ill-advised event from the get go in my humble opinion.

And just about everybody outside of Brandmeyer I spoke to said as much.

So after reportedly poor ticket sales, MMG, LLC pulled the plug just over a month out.


Bill Brandmeyer

“Was there some kind of escape hatch” asks Kansas City lawyer David Scott Whinery, Esquire. “That goes back to the 30 days plus a day. That may be why the artists aren’t suing them. Because that’s kind of standard (cancellation clause) in a lot of performance contracts.”

Mammoth however is suing Brandmeyer and the Limited Liability Corporation to the tune of “an amount in excess of  $75,000.”

One wild card: the agreement filed with the court shows it was between MMF, LLC and Mammoth. Not Brandmeyer personally and Mammoth.


Imagine Dragons

Therein lies the potential problem, sources say.

“With the kind of money (Kanrocksas) had, they probably built an LLC that’s going to be pretty hard to pierce the corporate veil of,” Whinery says. “And if they did pierce it, then they’d have to go after a trust and good luck with that.”

The odds of getting past the LLC and trust into Brandmeyer’s pocket?

“It’s going to be hard to get to the individual unless they can prove that it was outright fraud or (Brandmeyer) gave personal guarantees,” says another Kansas City attorney familiar with entertainment law. “Because generally those LLCs don’t have any assets…And it’s pretty hard to get things out of trusts.”

The idea being that Brandmeyer’s liquid assets may be mostly tied up in trusts.

Brandmeyer did not return a call for this column.

“I don’t feel sorry for Brandmeyer and I also don’t feel sorry for the bands…” says one entertainment source. “All of the agents and managers who took offers from people who aren’t (really) in the business deserve to be burned.  They should know better.

“This is happening all over the place. There’s been this giant explosion in festivals and the bands are leaping at all the money. And some of them just aren’t coming through. The bottom line is, it’s all fueled by greed.”

imageThe betting money among the people I spoke with; it may be a settlement play.

“Obviously (Brandmeyer) isn’t scared of this lawsuit,” says the entertainment source. “It’s nothing…The only people who are going to make money are the lawyers.”

“It’s hard to show damages,” Whinery adds. “Mammoth may have a better shot than anybody though because their company name took a hit.”

That said, left to try and bleed an LLC, “They call it judgement proof in the trade,” Whinery says.  “Because even if you can win, there’s no money to collect. So what’s the point?”

Which brings us to Mammoth’s cost of collection…

“It could be a lot,” Whinery says. “You could easily burn through hundreds of thousands of dollars to take this to trial. And the Brandmeyer people can probably hire (someone like) Lathrop & Gage for a couple hundred thousand and shoot the thing down…It’s going to be a long, hard slog for (Mammoth) and their lawyers are probably going to be the ones who have to come up with the litigation costs…A lawsuit like this could bankrupt someone. They could drag this out for five years.”

just usA more likely scenario:

“They probably have just enough juice to get a nuisance fee, but they do not want to go to trial with a Lathrop & Gage,” Whinery says. “They’re (probably) going to have to settle because they can’t go to war with the big boys…They want to pierce the LLC’s corporate veil, so they can go after Brandmeyer personally, because that’s where the deep pocket (probably) is.”

There you have it…

One failed music fest, two disappointed concert bookers, a seemingly well-inentioned promoter wannabe and a whole lotta lawyers.

Sounds like the Perfect Storm…

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13 Responses to Hearne: Promoters Sue Kanrocksas; Story Behind the Story

  1. chuck says:

    Lady Justice looks like Paris Hilton.

    Speaking of Paris Hilton, collecting damages in this case is like suing Paris Hilton because YOU forgot the safe word. Even with Herpes sores the size of sand traps, proving the worth of the “O” face, vis a vis the cost of oceans of Zymaderm is problematical.

    If I were these guys, I would sue Paris, cause, you know…, we will always have Paris.

  2. Superfatdummy says:

    chuck scores again

    Even written agreements with small garage bands has a cancel/walk away clause by both parties. Mammoth probably was banking on ex number of dollars coming in on this deal and when the deal fell through it ruined their dreams. Well poor babies welcome to the real world of entertainment where risk is a part of the game.

  3. the dude says:

    Best scenario for these guys is Bunglemeyer decides to settle to avoid going to court because going to court is a waste of time and money in a case like this.

    • admin says:

      That seems to be the consensus among the people I talked to. That it’s a settlement play.

      That’s still a monumental “confession” of sorts. To put in the lawsuit for all the booking agents and band managers to see, that your career has been ruined.

      That said, one of the Mammoths was one of the main owners of the Beaumont Club – which as you have been reading – went down ugly earlier this year in a six year sea of red ink.

      Tough business, tough times.

      • Orphan of the Road says:

        Settled out of court so no public record.

        Because of my 401k and my ability to make money in it, I became a defendant in an insider trading law suit. Three-years after the company was sold and the same suit dismissed by the court three times.

        You throw stuff at the wall and see if anything sticks.

  4. legendaryhog says:

    “They probably have just enough juice to get a nuisance fee, but they do not want to go to trial with a Lathrop & Gates,” Whinery says.

    Lathrop & Gates? Is this some new delicious bbq’d attorney we can eat? …because that would be awesome.

  5. PB says:

    Some of the bands (Imagine Dragons and Edward Sharpe & Magnetic Zeros among them) that were scheduled did the smart thing and booked other shows in the KC area during that same weekend. This lawsuit doesn’t seem to have much weight. At least Brandmeyer and company didn’t skip town like the Taste of KC guy(s) did.

    • admin says:

      Huge difference between Brandmeyer and the minor league dudes that put that event on a million years back.

      For starters, Brandmeyer stepped up and ate SEVERAL million dollars in ultra red ink on the first Kanrocksas two years ago. Which probably lead everyone involved to assume he’d do the same this time out.

      Not good to assume.

  6. Sergent Shriver Stedenko says:

    Whatever happened to Spirit Festival? That was a real good one and one year it just faded away…

    • admin says:

      You know what? The smartman would have been (and was years ago when it failed) a good source on this one.

      Alas he is no more.

      • Sargent Shriver Stedenko says:

        I saw your story just now. Sad to see him go. He was glaze’s hilarious foil in the comments section and from what you say a pretty interesting character in the outside world.

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