Live Nation has been accused of cheating its landlord at the Met in Philadelphia out of proceeds from a handful of concerts like Madonna and Sting.
Holy Ghost Met Master Tenant LLC, an affiliate of developer Eric Blumenfeld and Holy Ghost Church, filed a lawsuit against the concert promoter last week in Common Pleas Court, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. The suit claims that Live Nation Entertainment, along with its regional president Geoffrey S. Gordon, of breach of contract and unjust enrichment, among other offenses. The company is seeking unspecified monetary damages.
In the suit, lawyers for Blumenfeld and the church said that Live Nation have “treated the Met as if it was the owner and developer of the building, disregarding plaintiffs’ rights,” continuing to “breach its contractual obligations.” Additionally, the church’s head pastor, Rev. Mark Hatcher, wrote in a letter included with the lawsuit that Live Nation staff members have “created an environment of ‘bullying’ that is not in any way consistent with the arrangement that was agreed to by us.”
Live Nation’s lease with the Met, which was established in 2017, requires the promoter to pay $1.5 million in a “fixed minimum rent” per year, as well as $2 for each ticket sold at events. The promoter also agreed to make the venue hall available for church use by 7 a.m. each Sunday and leave the space available for community events, if needed. However, Blumenfeld and the church say Live Nation has broken these promises.
Live Nation reportedly did not pay Blumenfeld additional funds for some events, including tours by Madonna, Sting, Phish, and Little Big Town – noting that these “private” or “licensing agreement events” did not qualify for the additional charge. Additionally, Live Nation reportedly failed to open the venue in time for the church’s Sunday morning service at times, the church was forced to hold services in the dark when electricity was not turned on, and the promoter prevented the church from holding local events at the venue.
The concert promoter giant has been under fire recently, as Billboard just revealed that the Justice Department would investigate Live Nation’s merger with Ticketmaster after finding five instances that the company violated its consent decree since 2010.