And from the looks of things there’ll be plenty of that. Shouting, you know. Because while the festival formally known as Kanrocksas is little more now than a twinkle in the eye of failed founder Bill Brandmeyer – and a future trivia question at the Westport Flea Market – There’s one lawsuit filed and possibly more to go.
That according to She & Him booking agent Eric Dimenstein.
Dimenstein’s agency also represents Glasgow’s Camera Obscura and both bands were booked to appear at this year’s Kanrocksas in late June. However as we all now know, Kanrocksas was cancelled a month out due to poor advance ticket sales.
“My agency, Ground Control Touring, along with other agencies such as WME, Paradigm and Windish do not want this story to become one about Mammoth Inc. vs Bill Brandmeyer. We want to make it clear that the real story is that Brandmeyer, who is supposedly so community oriented and supportive of the arts and artists, is in fact screwing hard-working touring musicians out of their livelihoods by not honoring his contractual obligations to them. He is saying they are not eligible for any payment despite him signing and dating that he would honor cancelation fees if canceled as can be seen in the now public lawsuit. Playing music is these artists’ careers and he is treating them like pawns in his game with no respect or regard for their situations. Its completely outrageous.”
Mammoth, by the way, is the local promotions company run by promoters Josh Hunt and Jeff Fortier that is suing Brandmeyer and his limited liability company that was responsible for putting on Kanrocksas.
As for the possibility that Brandmeyer’s 31 day out cancellation of Kanrocksas may have been timed to avoid having to pay artists scheduled to play the fest, “There was NO cancelation clause on the “offer” we CONFIRMED for She & Him to perform at Kanrocksas,” Dimenstein says. “It did however say “acceptance of this offer gives MMF the right to use the artists’s name and likeness in all promotional photos, videos, and all marketing material”
“The fact that (Brandmeyer) indeed and excessively used both the name ‘She & Him’ and the likeness of both M. Ward and Zooey Deschanel as some examples can be seen…in videos tweeted regarding the festival by (Brandmeyer who) confirms the deal agreed to and now is skirting obligation from. This use of ‘name and likeness’ is deemed as acceptance of the terms and agreements confirmed in the offer.”
“That’s a non issue, but having a signed contract is an issue,” says an promoter who asked not to be named. “It boils down to, are they going to sue (Brandmeyer) and can they pierce his corporate veil. There’s no question that every band would win that lawsuit in about five minutes. The question is, is there any money for them to get and it takes a lot of money to try and pierce that veil and that only happens about 25 percent of the time.”
The bottom line: “Nobody’s getting any money out of Brandmeyer, I don’t think,” the source says. “The guy set it up right with an LLC and it’s going to be next to impossible to get to him.”
“You CAN NOT just confirm artists and ‘guarantee’ payment, have them forgo other opportunities, use their name and likeness and put tickets on sale to the public and then just decide not to send contracts back and honor obligations. These are working artists and working touring crews who depend on this for their livilihood and to use them and disregard them as if a game is despicable.
“Additionally for someone so into community and arts and giving back to KC with music etc to put an independent small company in jeopardy and out of business who is doing just that is quite hypocritical.”
Next up for Dimenstein?
“Legal counsel has been addressed and we are weighing our options and direction both individually and/or collectively along with other agencies but without a doubt we are going to get the hypocrisy of this story out on Brandmeyer so that the KC community is aware of the kind of morals at work here.”