Nashville label sues impresario over €15,000 debt
A PROMINENT concert promoter's music empire is under threat after complaints from a record label about unpaid debts, and from musicians about false advertising.
Country and western impresario James McGarrity is facing insolvency proceedings from an American record label, which wants to wind up his company over money owed.
And an Irish Independent investigation has also uncovered how Mr McGarrity has been involved in clashes with a string of top music stars, including Pogues frontman Shane MacGowan, singer Johnny McEvoy and American country legend Vince Gill.
They accused Mr McGarrity, who is based in Co Antrim, of billing them as headline acts for concerts around Ireland even though they were not booked to play.
The owner of Nashville-based River Run Records, Diane Delena, is now pursuing a winding-up order against Mr McGarrity's JW Promotions after he failed to pay a €15,000 debt despite having a court order made against him last year for the sum.
The insolvency proceedings will be heard before Belfast High Court on September 15.
Ms Delena is seeking the return of money advanced to Mr McGarrity for promoting her act, Charlie Allen, which she claimed he failed to do.
The High Court in London also ruled she was due her share of profits as joint owner of the annual Country Fest festival, which Mr McGarrity promotes.
Earlier this month Mr McGarrity cancelled his Keltic Hooley festival in Letterkenny, Co Donegal, at short notice, citing poor advance sales. Beforehand, the advertised headline act, Shane MacGowan, posted a message on his official website declaring he was not due to appear.
Last night, Ticketmaster said they had refunded customers who purchased tickets for the Keltic Hooley event.
Last year Mr McGarrity fell out with Vince Gill and JohnnyMcEvoy, both of whom took legal action to stop him falsely billing them as headline acts of concerts he was promoting.
Recently, a 20-minute rant by Mr McGarrity was posted on YouTube. In the taped phone call with US radio presenter Micheal "Bear" Clair, host of 'The Sideman Show', Mr McGarrity said: "I will take you down at whatever cost, at whatever length. Believe me I will take you down. It's not a threat, it's a promise." Mr McGarrity told the Irish Independent the comments had been doctored.
Neither Mr McGarrity or his lawyers would comment further on his business dealings.