independent

Saturday 19 April 2014

Dispute between Electric Picnic organisers and music promoter to be heard in May

A DISPUTE between music promoter John Reynolds and the organisers of the Electric Picnic music festival will be heard before the event gets under way this summer, the Commercial Court heard yesterday.

Mr Justice Peter Kelly yesterday set a trial date for May 13 next.

In proceedings against Festival Republic Dublin  (FRD), under the Companies Acts, Mr Reynolds has alleged a refusal to allow him operate the festival as envisaged.

He claims that alleged refusal is causing considerable hardship and risk to POD Music Ltd. 

FRD had in 2009 bought for EURO 4.2m a 71 per cent stake in EP Festivals Ltd, a subsidiary of POD Music.

Mr Reynolds alleges management decisions made by FRD relating to the 2012 and 2013 picnics were damaging to POD Music Ltd, the 100 per cent shareholder of EP Republic Ltd, but were to the benefit of the FRD Group.

In opposing the claims, FRD alleges Mr Reynolds had been engaging in a deliberately obstructive pattern of behaviour and was seeking to have his shares bought out at "grossly inflated prices".

It denies Mr Reynolds has been excluded from managing the Picnic or that the FRD group's controlling companies, Live Nation and Gaiety Investments, want to make the Picnic just part of their stable of festivals and outdoor events.

The court heard yesterday FRD had made legal disclosure (discovery) of a USB key containing 66,000 documents.  

Rossa Fanning BL, for FRD, said the vast majority of these would be irrelevant.

Edward Farrelly BL, for Mr Reynolds, said his client was anxious to press ahead with the matter and both parties had festivals organised during the summer.

Mr Justice Kelly remarked the case will be celebrating its first birthday next month.  He was conscious of the fact that both parties were involved in the organisation of outdoor music festivals and witnesses may not be available to appear in court during summer months.

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