The head of talent agency William Morris Endeavours‘s music department, Marc Geiger, did not take too kindly to the news that Pemberton Music Festival had abruptly declared bankruptcy without promising to refund fans. In an exclusive statement to Billboard, the music executive stated to festival organizers: “I [am] coming after you personally.”
Pemberton’s decision to go bankrupt shocked the music industry when it was revealed that the festival had “no ability to provide refunds for tickets purchased,” via a statement posted on their official website. The festival was supposed to take place the weekend of July 13th to 16th in Pemberton, British Columbia. The preliminary lineup had acts such as Major Lazer, Marshmello, Diplo, Alesso, MGMT, Zeds Dead and more, plus headliners Chance The Rapper, Muse, and A Tribe Called Quest all initially confirmed. WME’s clients Haim, Big Sean, and Tegan & Sara were also all confirmed to play, while others were likely being discussed.
Geiger noted that the company’s decision to file for bankruptcy was “fraud, pure and simple,” adding that “These guys are declaring bankruptcy, but none of them are actually bankrupt. Their shell company is bankrupt. And now they want fans to pay the price.”
The festival is likely to lose $14 million this year amidst dwindling ticket sales of only 18,230 to date — compared to 38,423 and 25,151 the two years prior per the company’s bankruptcy reports.
Festival organizers Huka Entertainment, represented by A.J. Niland and Evan Harrison, made it clear in another official website statement that the decision to file was made by the festival’s shell holding company Pemberton Music Festival, LP and not Huka Entertainment.
In a statement to Billboard, both promoters stated “we did everything in our power to prevent this. The decision was sudden and unexpected. We are going to do everything in our power to make this right and we will keep trying until this is fixed.”
It remains to be seen whether or not Pemberton Music Festival’s paying customers will be duly refunded, but what’s for sure is that all of the parties involved have since made an enemy of one of the most powerful agents in the music industry.