Months after EDM.com brought Seattle promoter USC Events' history of nonpayment to light, one of the world's biggest rave promoters has taken legal action against them. Insomniac has filed a lawsuit against USC's parent company, Conscious Entertainment Group, and its CEO, Chad Anderson, for alleged misuse of funds during their partnership on Paradiso Festival.
The complaint claims that Insomniac advanced over $2 million to USC so that the company had ample cash flow for payments to vendors. On June 14th, the first day of the event, Anderson informed Insomniac that USC had not paid the funds to their intended recipients.
Insomniac was later forced to pay artist fees to the tune of $215,055 to Paradigm Talent Agency and $638,650 to United Talent Agency. Vendors like Just Right Productions and LMG also contacted Insomniac to inquire about the amounts owed to them ($29,000 and $176,000, respectively). USC has failed to adequately explain what happened to the advance payments, according to the suit.
"Chad is the literal king of gaslighting and manipulation and had us thinking Insomniac was just fucking us over," a previous USC employee told EDM.com. "To us, they were the ones drawing out the process and we had no idea, so this is all new information to me too ... I was told we were waiting for the settlement to pay the upset vendors. I didn’t know any better, but now that I do I’m even more pissed than I was."
According to the complaint, USC has begun promoting the 2020 edition of Paradiso. Their alleged breach of contract led Insomniac to terminate their agreement, however, forbidding them from use the Paradiso name or trademark.
Insomniac also included a silver lining for Seattle music fans in the suit: They plan to host their own event where Paradiso is held independently of USC. "Insomniac wishes to promote an electronic dance music event at the Gorge Amphitheatre this summer without USC's involvement, and seeks judicial confirmation that Insomniac is no longer bound by the non-compete obligation because the Agreement has been terminated," reads a passage.
The amount for which Insomniac intends to hold USC liable has not been specified, nor has the former promoter provided additional details for their upcoming event at the Gorge. EDM.com's requests for comment have not been met with a response from either company at the time of writing.