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SFX Entertainment Lands in viagogo's Legal Crosshairs

SFX Entertainment still can't catch a break
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Filing for  bankruptcy hasn't earned SFX Entertainment a whole lot of sympathy from those that the company previously alienated. The notoriously mismanaged electronic music conglomerate has commenced arbitration proceedings with its former secondary ticketing partner, viagogo, in regards to claims in excess of $1.6 million.

A recent SEC filing from SFX’s chapter 11 bankruptcy court proceedings reveals that secondary ticketing platform viagogo has filed agreed to enter arbitration with the company. In doing so, viagogo hopes to collect on claims totaling the aforementioned sum.

SFX had signed a $75 million sponsorship deal with viagogo in June of 2014 which was supposed to have granted the latter company exclusive rights as the designated ticket reseller for at least 50 SFX events. In return, viagogo had agreed to make sponsorship fee payments to the corporation.

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According to the document, SFX began committing numerous "uncurable" breaches of contract shortly after the sponsorship agreement commenced by failing to provide viagogo with the necessary ticketing and marketing rights. In accordance with the agreement, viagogo has entered arbitration as a means of recouping the money owed by SFX as a last resort before seizing the assets by less amicable means.


Tomorrowland Belgium was among the events under the SFX Entertainment umbrella in 2014.

While the mismanagement of its various assets in the electronic music industry created sizable obstacles for SFX Entertainment following its 2013 IPO, its restructuring process hasn't necessarily granted it immunity from claims such as those made by viagogo. Prior to a series of both rumored and formally proposed leadership changes, for instance, Dutch promoter ALDA Events had moved to seize commanding shares of SFX Europe, ID&T and Sensation Brazil - until a subsequent settlement between both parties had been reached.

The full impact of SFX's well-documented decline on electronic music as a whole remains to be seen. The last business report compiled by Kevin Watson and presented at the International Music Summit in Ibiza estimated that the industry still grew by a relatively marginal amount from 2015-2016, but the ripples made by the corpse of the dance music behemoth's fall had not reached the edges of the proverbial pond during the time frame in question.

Following an objective deadline of August 17th, the hearing date set forth in the document is August 30th. The results of the SFX Entertainment and viagogo's arbitration proceedings will likely surface in court filings shortly thereafter.

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