Wednesday 21 February 2018

Concert promoter seeks ?1.5m over Eminem pull-out

Ann O'Loughlin

CONCERT promoter MCD has gone to court looking for ?1.5m after three insurance companies failed to pay up when rapper Eminem pulled out of his sell-out gig at Slane last year.

The 80,000 tickets for the Slane Castle concert were sold out within an hour to Irish fans, but just weeks before the September 17, 2005 gig, he cancelled.

At the time, the reasons given for the cancellation were that the US singer was exhausted and other medical issues.

It was the last concert scheduled for the 32-year- old Grammy award-winner's Anger Management European tour.

Thousands of fans, including Leaving and Junior Cert exam students, queued up for tickets ahead of the 8am sale on June 10 last year.

Now MCD is suing three UK insurance companies in the High Court for ?1.5m over their failure to compensate the promoter arising from the cancellation of the star's planned gig at Slane, in Co Meath.

The sum of ?1.5m is the maximum amount MCD can pursue the insurance companies for under the terms of an insurance contract of June 29, 2005. Alternatively, it is seeking damages for alleged breach of contract.

The action has been brought by MCD Productions Ltd against three London-based insurance companies - Liberty Syndicate Management Ltd, trading as Liberty Syndicates LIB44722 at Lloyds, Brit Insurance Ltd and Markel International Ltd.

Mr Justice Peter Kelly yesterday granted an application from MCD to admit the case to the Commercial Court list and made directions for the exchange of legal documents between the sides.

Eminem was due to be joined on the Slane Castle stage by his equally controversial protege 50 Cent.

Eminem performed at Punchestown, in Co Kildare, in 2003 before 100,000 fans in two concerts.

In an affidavit, Mr Denis Desmond of MCD said Eminem's tour was due to begin in Germany on September 1, 2005, but his manager Paul Rosenberg announced in August 2005 that due to "exhaustion", Eminem was cancelling the the tour.

Mr Desmond said subsequent media reports suggested Eminem was shortly thereafter in hospital under doctors' care, being treated for dependency on sleep medication, according to his record company, Interscope Records.

MCD claims it incurred losses of some ?2,114,313, including ?260,000 for share of gross profits, ?915,000 profits from concessions, bars, pouring rights, merchandising and rebates, and ?937,00 due to cancellation.

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