Singer Lizzo is being sued for allegedly not returning a deposit paid to the singer for headlining the Los Angeles ‘Virgin Fest’ concert after the festival was cancelled due to COVID-19.
According to legal documents, obtained by The Blast, festival promoters planned a massive festival which was supposed to take place on June 6th and 7th of this year, and feature several stages across Exposition Park.
As a part of the planning, the company claims they landed Lizzo, Ellie Goulding, and ASAP Rocky to perform at different times during the festival.
Of course, as part of that process, the company claims it paid deposits to the artists including, Lizzo.
In the filing, the company says they “proceeded to make the necessary plans and arrangements to ensure the success of the festival, including entering into agreements for the use of the facilities and entering into artist performance agreements to secure the musical artists. Those artists were represented by the major talent agencies who negotiated the performance agreements on their behalf and on behalf of the artist’s furnishing company.”
But, unfortunately, “On March 11, 2020, less than three months after Mayor Garcetti welcomed Virgin Fest to Los Angeles, the Novel Coronavirus Disease, COVID-19 was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization, and two days later, on March 13, 2020, a national emergency was declared in the United States. COVID-19 was a new deadly and highly infectious disease that, as medical experts warned, could be spread between people in close proximity with one another when an infected person coughed or sneezed, or when a person touched a surface or object that had the virus on it and then touched their own mouth, nose, or eyes,” the documents state.
At that time, they claim they were forced to cancel the event, and issued a public statement saying,
“We are disappointed we cannot soon share our vision for the Festival of Tomorrow, today. The safety of our community, the wellbeing of all, and the healing of our planet are our underlying focus. So, as a result of the governmental restrictions and mandates resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, VIRGIN FEST in Los Angeles is prevented from proceeding as scheduled next month.”
In the lawsuit, the festival organizers claim agents for several artists, WME, “instead contended that it has no obligation to return the money because its artists remained “ready, willing, and able” to perform at Virgin Fest despite the fact that the artists had no such ability because the festival and the artist performances at the festival had been made unlawful by the government as part of its concerted effort to prevent the further deadly spread of COVID-19.”
In other words, it’s not their fault it was canceled and stand willing to perform as a part of their contract.
But, the company alleges there is a clause in the contract giving them the right to ask for a refund of the deposit if something like this worldwide pandemic forces the event’s cancellation.
“Although WME was or should have been aware of the government orders prohibiting public activities in Los Angeles” — “refused to return the Deposits,” the lawsuit says.
The festival organizers are now suing the musicians and asking a judge to order the return of all deposits given for the festival.