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BottleRock festival organizers fail to pay stagehands, charities

A Mother's Day weekend music festival in Napa, California has ended on a sour note. Over a month after the festival ended, 142 stagehands and several charities have still not been paid as promised. The stagehands are due $630,000 from the organizers of the BottleRock festival, a five day event which saw crowds top more 100,000.

The festival featured 60 rock bands and was a first for Napa. Critics say organizers were not able to deliver what they promised, which included donating up to $1 million to various charities. In addition to owing the stagehands and the charities, there are upcoming payments to the city of Napa for fire and police services, as well as the to the state-owned expo where the event was held. Those payments are $106,729 and $310,938, respectively.

Organizers say the payments are being held up because of an accounting issue with the food and beverage vendor, who is a restaurateur and caterer. Payment for the festival's cut of the food and beverage sales has not been received yet, according to organizers, and that is what will be used to cover the stagehands' wages. The festival organizers have alleged the catering company is in "breach of contract" for failing to provide the required accounting by May 27. The catering company said it was given on May 24, but that the festival organizers do not agree with the totals.

Some stagehands, though, have filed claims with the California Department of Industrial Relations. They are seeking payment for their wages and benefits, as well as late penalties.

Both the festival organizers and the caterers have attorneys working to resolve the issues, but also want to make sure the contracts with the charities are honored. As much as one dollar from each ticket sold and one dollar from each beverage sold was to go to charity.

If you are involved in a contract dispute with another individual or entity and cannot agree on a resolution, contact an experienced California business litigation attorney. This is the best way to ensure your rights and interests are protected.

Source:, "BottleRock has yet to pay charities, 142 stagehands" Derek Moore, Jun. 11, 2013

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