Electric Forest future uncertain; AEG Live files suit against resort owners
Yesterday, a Michigan court delayed a decision on a brewing real-estate dispute between two well known companies – SFX Entertainment and AEG/Madison House Presents (Madison House) – which could threaten the future of the Electric Forest music festival and the 21,000 fans that have already purchased their tickets to this June’s event.
In court documents obtained by Dancing Astronaut, it appears that SFX has taken an interest in purchasing the property where Electric Forest has been held for the last three years. While the “why” is unclear, the answers may lie in the fact that Madison House recently closed a deal with AEG Live in January 2014.
The details are complicated, but Progressive Resorts, the original owners of the Double JJ Ranch & Golf Resort, the home of Electric Forest, fell on hard times and in order to maintain ownership they need to pay off millions in debt. Enter SFX, who allegedly has offered to pay off Progressive’s debts, possibly impacting the 2014 festival. Desperate to get the funds to pay their debts, Progressive has now claimed that Madison Houses’ 20-year lease agreement to hold the festival on the site is void – despite the fact that they accepted over $60,000 last October as a deposit for the use of the property for the 2014 festival.
While not currently involved in the litigation, Madison Houses’ partner in Electric Forest, Insomniac, expressed their concerns with the industry politics that could derail the much-loved festival.
“We have worked with Madison House over the last three years to build this festival into an experience that the fans would love,” said Insomniac Vice President of Communications, Jennifer Forkish. “This sounds like a case of sour grapes – Madison house chose AEG as their partner over SFX, and now SFX is seeking to punish us, Madison House and most importantly the loyal fans who have already purchased their tickets. The 2014 show is still going on as planned and tickets are still on sale and we are extremely confident that the court will decide to allow the festival to move forward as planned.”
The Michigan court is expected to hold a hearing on the matter on February 24.
For more detailed information on the pending case, you can read the attached PDF document.