Did Robert Sillerman Steal The Idea To Conquer EDM? California Judge Lets SFX Suit Move Forward
The initial ruling on July 29 by California District Judge Ronald S.W. Lew says that there’s enough evidence to merit a trial.
If you’re not immediately familiar with SFX Entertainment, you’re definitely familiar with some of their properties.Tomorrowland, Mysteryland, Life in Color, Electric Zoo, Voodoo Experience, and more are all under the SFX umbrella. SFX Entertainment is huge.
Sillerman is being sued for breach of contract, fraud, and more by dance music industry professionals. Sillerman promised in a January 2012 email to Paolo Moreno, a promoter in the electronic dance music industry after hearing of his business plan to buy venues around the world and create a powerhouse in the fast-growing live music genre. At the time, Moreno was proposing that he and his team would bring contacts and on the ground knowledge to consolidate the then-fragmented EDM industry, while Sillerman, the wealthy creator of LiveNation, would provide financing to fund a venture.
The result of the partnership, SFX Entertainment, was listed on the Nasdaq in late 2014 at an over $1 billion valuation and generated $354 million in 2014 revenue. However, instead of making large sums of money, Moreno and two co-plaintiffs, Lawrence Varva and Gabriel Moreno, say they were cut out and never received a dime from Sillerman or SFX, despite helping to identify seven of the eight principal assets SFX listed when going public nearly two years ago. Shortly after went public, Moreno and his colleagues sued Sillerman and SFX; a suit the company quickly called “without merit” and asked to be dismissed.
Things went awry, to say the least.
The upcoming trial is set to begin on October 6 in Los Angeles federal court. While the verdict is up in the air, one thing is certain – the ruling will have a lasting impact on the business and culture of EDM.