Andrew Rubin, Esq.

New Jersey concert promoter sues Nas for breach of contract

Anyone who has ever spent their hard-earned money to buy concert tickets only to have the concert suddenly canceled knows what an incredibly frustrating experience that can be. Concerts get canceled for a number of reasons--from the musicians becoming sick, to weather preventing travel to the concert's location. In some cases, contracts break down between the musicians and the venue or the concert promoter, which is apparently what happened with a concert that rapper Nas was scheduled to perform on New Year's Eve 2012.

That cancellation led a New Jersey-based concert promoter to sue the rapper for $10 million for breach of contract. Nas, however, says it was the promoter who breached the contract, and that the lawsuit should be dismissed.

According to the lawsuit, the concert promoter agreed to provide a production company in Angola with a performing artist for three dates in 2012 and 2013. Soon thereafter, the promoter contracted Nas to perform two of the dates. Nas was to be paid $300,000. And, this is where each side begins to differ on what happened.

The promoter says that it wired $300,000 to Nas' managers on Dec. 29, 2012. The managers, however, said the payment was not confirmed until the next day, the date on which Nas was scheduled to fly to Angola.

The promoter also says that it had two pre-paid airline tickets sent to Nas, but Nas' attorney has stated that travel arrangements were not properly executed.

In the end Nas did not get on the plane--he says because he was not paid in time and because the travel arrangements were not made. The concert promoter and his son, however, did go to Angola, where their passports were reportedly seized because they had been paid by the production company but did not deliver Nas. They were detained for 49 days, according to the lawsuit, and they suffered beatings by authorities in addition to financial losses that resulted in a foreclosure.

Nas says that he ultimately paid the $300,000 back to the promoter, and that as part of that settlement the promoter agreed not to file a lawsuit.

Whether this lawsuit will proceed remains to be seen. This is an example, however, of some of the serious issues that can occur when a contract is breached by either side.

Source: NJ.com, "Nas lawsuit: Attorney says N.J. man's $10 million claim against rapper should be tossed," Brendan Kuty, May 2, 2013

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