Concert promoter Danny Wimmer recently announced the lineup for the inaugural Ohio festival Sonic Temple (which replaced Rock on the Range) and then announced the dates for the inaugural North Carolina festival Epicenter (which replaces Carolina Rebellion). Rock on the Range and Carolina Rebellion were co-owned and co-promoted by Danny Wimmer Presents and AEG, who has now filed a lawsuit against Wimmer for "stealing" the two festivals.
Billboard reports that AEG filed court documents in LA Superior Court yesterday (11/29) alleging that Wimmer illegally "divorced" himself from AEG. AEG's attorneys say Wimmer "relied upon deceit and fraud to achieve its goal of stealing these highly acclaimed festivals."
Danny Wimmer Presents chief executive Danny Hayes told Billboard, "I have not yet read the complaint, so it is difficult for me to comment on the particulars. What I can say is that Danny Wimmer Presents has always worked within the framework of our agreements with AEG. We have deep respect and appreciation for the people at that company and are sad to see that AEG has elected this course of action. We will, of course, vigorously protect our rights and are completely confident of our legal position."
Here's more background on AEG and Wimmer's falling out, via the Billboard article:
Industry sources tell Billboard that tensions between the two companies had been brewing for years and that while the two had a co-promotion agreement for both events, their deal also included language that allowed either side to walk away from the agreement and create a competing event. Creative differences between the two sides began to boil over in 2015, sources say, but neither side could come to an agreement to buy or sell their stake in the festival. Sources also say that AEG had tried to create a competing festival down the street from the MAPRE Stadium at Ohio Stadium on the same weekend as Epicenter Festival, but ultimately didn't proceed with the event.
"AEG lost the competition, so now they're suing" said one source familiar with the two sides. "This is an unfortunate case of sour grapes."
The article also adds, "AEG is suing Wimmer on 25 civil counts, alleging breach of fiduciary duty, fraudulent misrepresentation, breach of contract, unfair competition and trademark infringement." You can read much more here.
Sonic Temple is scheduled to go down in Columbus, OH from May 17-19 with System of a Down, Foo Fighters, Ghost, Joan Jett, The Distillers, The Hives, Refused, Mark Lanegan Band, Lamb of God, Gojira, Meshuggah, and more. Epicenter is scheduled to go down in Rockingham, NC from May 10-12. The lineup is being announced on December 10.