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Live Nation's Alleged ‘Strong Arm' Leads To Lawsuit From NJ Promoters

SADDLE BROOK, NJ (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Live Nation is facing a lawsuit from two local New Jersey concert promoters after they claimed Live Nation used threats and coercion to prevent the promoters from booking acts for the State Fair Meadowlands last summer.

Thomas Dorfman and Chris Barrett, principals of Juice Entertainment in Saddle Brook, claim they lost their contract with the fair management because of interference by Live Nation. The lawsuit says Juice lost more than $75,000 as a result, according to New Jersey's Star Ledger.

Filed last week, the lawsuit claims Live Nation coerced performers into not signing with Juice to appear at the fair and threatened to withhold its ticketing services to the venue — the state-owned Meadowlands sports complex — if it were not allowed to be a partner.

According to the Star Ledger, the lawsuit states that Al Dorso, president of State Fair Entertainment Management (SFEM), who contracted with Juice to provide entertainment, was told by Live Nation representatives that they were "blocking" DJ Tiesto from performing at the event. The artist was informed he would not be permitted to play at other Live Nation venues if he signed a contract with Juice, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit also claims Live Nation threatened the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority with pulling its ticketing services for the complex if the authority didn’t help it get a part of the concert contracts.

"It is clear that Live Nation desired to terminate the [contract] between SFEM and Juice Entertainment, and to replace it with a new arrangement in which it either completely ousted Juice Entertainment, or at the very least became its partner," the lawsuit states. "It is also clear that Live Nation knew that its actions would result in precisely this interference."

The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in New Jersey late last week according to Ticket News. Juice is seeking unspecified damages in excess of $75,000.

— Crystal Lynn Huntoon