In the summer of 2020, during some of the hottest, hardest months of the pandemic, the management of the KAABOO festival in Del Mar, California, reached out to fans and made the familiar plea: Those with throw your 2020 ticket in 2021, instead of asking for a refund, get a free VIP upgrade or a free companion pass when the festival returns next year.
About 1,500 to 2,000 fans holding tickets worth about $500,000 accepted the offer, trusting that new owner. Marc Hagle, a 72-year-old real estate developer from Florida who bought the festival in 2019, will make good on his promise. With the pandemic continuing last summer, the 2021 festival has been pushed to 2022 – and now, sources familiar with the matter say. Billboards The festival may not take place again this year. But this time, the organizers cannot be blamed for the pandemic.
In fact, it’s not easy to blame the complicated demise of one of the state’s most popular multi-genre festivals. Technically, the fact that the festival could be canceled this year is the result of a legal disagreement – between the San Diego Padres and attorneys representing a maze of shell companies owned or controlled by Hagle. – about who has the right to host the festival in 2022. That disagreement, which in itself is based on the language of the unfinished 2019 contract between Padres and the former KABBOO executive Jason Felts, it will take a long time to be resolved. That’s bad news for Hagle, who can’t begin to recoup the $23 million he lost in 14 months buying KAABOO and its parent company until the issue with the Padres is resolved.
This is also bad news for ticket holders KAABOO fans who have come to believe that the festival will finally take place in 2022. Although a full date and performers have not been announced for the 2022 festival, Ticket holders had assumed it would take place on September 16-18, the same weekend it has been held since its launch in 2015. Legal documents show on July 8th. In 2021, a Hagle-controlled company licensed the development rights to KAABOO to a recently registered Delaware entity called Festival Licensing and Acquisition Corporation, Billboards learned are controlled by veteran event producers and KAABOO alums Chris Racan and Carl “C3” Monzo. Legal documents show that the two technically have until December 31, 2022, to hold the festival, but Hagle’s own attorney admits that’s probably not enough time.
“Given the size and scale of festivals like KAABOO, planning and preparation can take a year or more,” wrote Hagle attorney Delaware. Steven Caponi in a March lawsuit against Padres. “Furthermore, each year there is a limited time to hold a festival like KAABOO, reducing the number of days available, thus highlighting the importance of securing dates and planning the festival as early as possible. good.”
Instead of updating fans on the delay, Hagle has kept quiet – in fact, he’s kept relatively quiet since buying the festival in late 2019 and said nothing after the plan granted. Festive leave for Racan and Monzo collapsed in September, after deputy general state attorney Josh Caplan, who represents the state-owned Del Mar fairgrounds, was aware of the dispute with the Padres. On September 9, Caplan directed Del Mar executives to halt discussions about bringing the festival back to Del Mar “until the matter with Petco Park is fully resolved, “according to court documents.
Racan and Monzo have stopped working on the event since Caplan’s intervention, while nothing has been communicated to ticket holders. The KAABOO website still has the same message that was posted at the end of July 2021 telling fans: “We’ve worked hard on adjusting the line for KAABOO’s highly anticipated comeback,” thanks Thank them for their “patience and continued support of the brand. “
Officials at See Tickets, once KAABOO’s ticketing agent and payment processor, lobbied Hagle to immediately refund all fans any money spent on the 2020 festival. when See Tickets officials did not comment on this story, sources said Billboards that the ticketing company owned by Vivendi is considering taking legal action.
If Hagle is worried about fans or the health of the festival, he won’t show it. Instead of letting fans know that plans to re-launch in 2022 are floundering, the 72-year-old and his wife Sharon traveled to Texas in March to train for the once-in-a-lifetime cruise on board. Jeff Bezos‘Blue Origin’s new Shepard rocket. On March 31, they made an 11-minute flight 66 miles above the surface of the earth, where they became the first married couple in history to travel into space.
The Hagles have also put their $16 million Florida home on the market in recent months, pledging $5 million in funding to the athletics program at the University of Central Florida, and publicly thinking about it. sending Pomeranian’s pet, Saba, aboard the second spaceflight. Neither they nor their attorney answered many questions from Billboards about the state of the KAABOO festival.
ONLY GOOD INTEREST
Hagle was originally hailed as the white knight of KAABOO in 2019 by Felts, as Hagle spent over $10 million to rescue the festival after its former owner Bryan Gordon pushed it to the brink of bankruptcy.
Gordon burned through $69 million in equity, debt, and lost debts over the five years he ran the festival and was unable to pay the festival’s main suppliers or popular artists – a some of them refused to take the stage in 2019 until they had been paid in full. Gordon also tried to expand into Texas with Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Joneswho last lost at least 8 million dollars on KAABOO Texas in 2019. And billionaire tax businessman Ken Darta partner in the KAABOO Cayman spinoff festival in 2019, swore he would never work with Gordon again after he learned the moderator allegedly sold tickets to a follow-up event in the Islands. Cayman without Dart’s permission.
Hagle, a multi-millionaire commercial real estate developer from Florida, will ultimately finance the festival and insist that any money he pays to buy KAABOO goes directly to the families. festival creditor. Hagle closed the sale on the eve of the 2019 opening day of the festival, only to find out later that he was Gordon’s obvious victim, too. Court records show Hagle accused Gordon of misrepresenting the festival’s finances, cornering KAABOO in expensive debt transactions, failing to disclose more than a dozen lawsuits and allegedly ordering staff to “leave money” obtained from food and drink in backpacks and removed them from the location,” according to legal filings in Delaware, where Hagle and Gordon are currently suing each other.
Hagle’s attempt to launch Los Angeles-based Virgin Fest in 2020 doesn’t get any better. When Hagle bought KAABOO, he also bought the rights to host the first year’s festival, named after Richard BransonVirgin Corporation, offers some limited marketing assistance, in downtown LA. In early 2020, Hagle agreed to pay Lizzo $5 million to host the inaugural festival in a deal with her talent agency WME, but when the festival was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they allegedly refused to return the money. Hagle currently has active lawsuits against Lizzo and Kali Uchis over unreturned deposits.
Fed up with his growing losses and the damage the pandemic is doing to the concert industry, Hagle decided to give up his position in the festival business. In October 2020, four months after asking fans who had purchased tickets to KAABOO 2020 to move their tickets to 2021 in exchange for VIP upgrades or free companion tickets, Hagle laid off most of its staff. members of KAABOO and Virgin Fest – the latter including the former chief marketing officer Steven Levywho left Insomniac to help launch Virgin Fest and CFO Chuck Ciongoli, who is from SFX. With his staff now gone, Hagle and his lawyers planned to move the festival back to its original home at Del Mar Fairgrounds with a new production team in charge.
WHAT ABOUT REFUND?
In January 2021, Hagle’s own real estate company, Tricor International, seized KAABOO’s assets – including festival-related trademarks – after the festival defaulted on 23 bills. millions of dollars. Those assets are then transferred to a trust that Hagle controls, which then transfers the assets to a transitional entity that Hagle controls, and then to another company Hagle controls called Live Holdings. rent. Live Holdings gave to a Delaware-registered parent company called Festival Licensing and Acquisition Corporation, an organization controlled by Racan and Monzo along with San Diego Brand Exposure Activation Management (BEAM). Racan runs BEAM with Monzo, son of the late Carl Monzo IIwho was the head of security for the band Phish for over a decade.
Monzo agreed to pay Hagle about $1.07 million per year plus royalties for 10 years for the rights to produce KAABOO. Monzo’s team then began negotiations with representatives from the state-owned Del Mar Fairgrounds – KAABOO’s first and only home from 2015 to 2019 – to host the event in the fall of 2022. .
While Felts, on behalf of KAABOO, signed a contract with the Padres in 2019, outlining plans to move the festival to Petco Park next year, that contract was never finalized. After the Padres’ attorneys caught the wind about Hagle’s maneuvering with BEAM and his plans to move the event back to the fairgrounds, they argued that the clause Felts signed was binding and allowed the team to be independent. festival rights in San Diego and southern Orange County. They asked KAABOO to pay $2 million to activate the festival cancellation clause.
Hagle’s attorneys sued the Padres, first in San Diego in January and again in March in Delaware, alleging egregious interference by the group. The lawsuits have made local news, and now fans who paid up to $5,000 for a VIP ticket to KAABOO are getting nervous. Officials at See Tickets are also growing increasingly concerned – proceeds from the 2019 presale have gone to Hagle’s team, and now fans are asking about refunds if the festival is postponed for a third time.
After spending $23 million to support KAABOO and launch Virgin Fest, many fans are wondering why Hagle didn’t pay the Padres the $2 million they requested, or personally sponsor the $500,000 refund. for fans and a complete headache.
“I don’t think he’s going to be treated by Gordon and the other entities he’s been treated in the way that he used to,” said a former KAABOO consultant who has watched Hagle harden his stance over time for know. “He entered this business as a different person than the one who left, and he got to a point where he wouldn’t give anyone any more money – even if the problem subject has disappeared. I think he doesn’t trust anyone anymore and it’s easy to see why.”
https://www.billboard.com/pro/kaaboo-festival-2022-cancellation-lawsuits/ KAABOO Fest Is Facing Cancellation (Again), Leaving Fans Confused – Billboard