Oct 1, 2021

Foo Fighters' touring company sues over canceled gig

The Foo Fighters performing at Lollapalooza earlier this year.

The Foo Fighters performing at Lollapalooza earlier this year. Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images

The Foo Fighters' touring company, Zenith Touring, sued a division of Live Nation in Nashville on Tuesday over $1.5 million in unpaid guarantees from a canceled corporate event in Denver.

Why it matters: The lawsuit highlights the uncharted territory of putting on concerts during a pandemic. Its outcome could ripple through Music Row as different parts of the industry rev up to resume large-scale touring and performing.

  • Another Nashville quirk: The lawsuit was filed in a Davidson County Chancery Court because of a provision in the booking contract requiring legal disputes to be settled here.

Driving the news: Live Nation's corporate events division, SME Entertainment Group, paid Zenith Touring a $1.5 million deposit out of a total of $3 million to host a concert for HR company ADP, according to the lawsuit.

  • After the Delta variant led to a national spike in cases, SME and/or ADP made the "unilateral decision" to cancel the August concert. The booking contract was with SME, not ADP, and ADP is not a defendant.

What they're saying: Live Nation told Axios in a statement: "We fully support the Foo Fighters as they were ready and able to play the scheduled performance on August 13 in Denver, until a third party cancelled the event. We are actively working to find a solution that works for all parties."

  • ADP did not respond to a request for comment.

Nate's thought bubble: The lawsuit shows how the music industry was put in a bind over restarting touring and structure booking contracts. There's no road map for how to book concerts during a pandemic.


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