In Oceana County today, a judge has ruled against the organizers of Electric Forest, putting the future of the festival in jeopardy. Judge Terrence R. Thomas denied a motion for intervention filed by AEG Live, who just recently acquired Electric Forest’s co-organizer Madison House Presents. Had the motion been granted, AEG could have asked the judge to prevent Double JJ Resort’s current owners, Antler Bar Amusements LLC and Double JJ PropCo LLC, and the previous owner Progressive Resorts LLC, from refusing to honor the 20-year festival lease Progressive signed with Madison House in 2010. Since the motion has been denied, the future of the festival comes into question as the two sides argue over the validity of the lease.
The lease, which was signed in 2010, had Electric Forest staying in Double JJ’s Resort for 20 years. AEG claims that the contract is part of the collateral that was acquired in November and that it must be honored. Lawyers for AEG claim that they were not made aware that the sale would put the event in jeopardy until January, after they had sold over 25,000 tickets and made festival arrangements that include band bookings and infrastructure investment. ABA and Progressive argue that they no longer need to honor it and that AEG was made aware of the situation in November and should have intervened then. They went on to say that the sale frees those parties from claims by third parties, including the lease by AEG.
Jeremy Stein, the Co-Partner in Madison House, stated:
“There’s a lot of entities involved here right now so I think everyone’s trying to figure what’s best for everybody,” and that “we’re excited to be plowing forward and I think everyone’s intentions are for the festival not only to happen to be the best one yet.”
So amid all of the turmoil and legal battles going on, there is still a silver lining that Electric Forest can still go down, even if it is for one final rodeo. Here’s hoping that if they do go out, they go out with a bang.