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Florida Georgia Line Sue Country Explosion Festival Over Alleged Non-Payment

Florida Georgia Line
Jason Merritt, Getty Images

Florida Georgia Line are firing back at a lawsuit filed against them last year. The country superstars have filed a counter-suit against the promoters of the Country Explosion Festival, alleging breach of contract and fraud.

Country Explosion LLC, the company behind the Salt Lake City-based festival, sued FGL and their tour manager, Troy Johnson, for breach of contract and defamation in August 2014, asking for more than $15 million. According to the claim, festival organizers gave Johnson a check for $205,000 check to cover the balance of FGL’s performance on July 20, asking him to hold it for three days to allow for box office receipts to clear.

Their complaint alleges Johnson cashed the check the next day, then sent emails to his contacts all throughout the music business informing them it had bounced, thereby making Country Explosion “absolutely toxic among the artists and booking agencies in Nashville.”

According to Billboard, Florida Georgia Line have now filed suit against Country Explosion and its owner, Darren Brady, who runs a bail bond company in Utah. They allege that the festival was poorly organized and shoddy from the start, with Toby Keith allegedly having to be paid from money collected from beer tents and “various other sources.”

Their suit claims FGL were uncertain about getting paid, but elected to perform anyway to avoid disappointing ticket holders. The filing says Brady personally guaranteed their payment, but according to FGL’s attorney, Chip Petree, CE engaged in a “shuck-and-jive situation, where they paid $20,000 in cash and wrote a check for $205,000.” That check bounced days later, and according to the suit, Country Explosion “continue to refuse to pay FGL for its July 20 performance.”

To complicate matters even further, Brady and Country Explosion have both since filed for bankruptcy. A judge in Utah refused to grant Brady a stay in the case, which will now likely be heard in Utah bankruptcy court. FGL are pursuing two counts of fraud against Brady, as well as breach of contract against Brady and Country Explosion. They are asking for a judgment in excess of $205,000, as well as fees, interest and punitive damages.

At least four other lawsuits are pending against Country Explosion, including actions from the parking consultant, concessions vendor, and the City of Tooele, where the festival took place. Despite those troubles, Country Explosion 2015 is still set for June 16-19, featuring a lineup that includes Anita Cochran, Andy Griggs, Steve Azar and Jamie O’Neal.

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