ALBANY, NY (CelebrityAccess) — Venue management company SMG has filed a lawsuit against John Scher and Metropolitan Entertainment Consultants over a failed concert which was canceled a week before it was due to take place.
The concert, which starred James Taylor and John Legend, was scheduled for Jan. 26, 2018 to mark the re-opening of the Times Union Center in Albany after a $20 million round of renovations.
According to the suit, SMG approached Metropolitan about a co-promotional deal, to help defray the substantial financial risk for the show
According to the complaint filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of New York in Albany on Tuesday, Belber made a verbal agreement with Scher to split the cost of the artists’ upfront payments of 50% of their performance fees — $300,000 for Taylor and $250,000 for Legend.
However, according to the suit, on Dec. 7th, the day before the deposits were due, Scher called Belber to say that he was only able to come up with 10 percent of the deposits and that he wouldn’t even be able to provide that for another 5 weeks.
Trying to keep the concert moving forward, SMG claims it paid the full amount of the deposits, anticipating that Scher would come up with promised 10%. But on January 17th, just 9 days before the show, SMG alleges that Scher said he would be unable to pay the promised 10% of the deposit and that he had no money to contribute to any loss incurred from the event.
According to the suit, Scher laid the blame at an unnamed investor who would not allow him to put up any money due to slow ticket sales for the event.
SMG says they then informed Scher that he was in default under the Use License Agreement and canceled the concert a day later.
According to SMG, they claim to be out almost $357,000 in artist and agent deposits, marketing costs and other expenses, as well as an additional $100,000 in lost rental fees and other ancillary net income.
The lawsuit alleges three counts of breach of contract, and further alleges that Scher engaged in fraud by entering into contracts that he knew his company would be unable to meet, and for failing to disclose the role of the unnamed investor, who is also a defendant in the suit.
The plaintiffs are seeking compensation their losses as well as punitive damages. A court date has been set for November.
Scher did not respond to a request for comment.