More Drama for Ultra Europe 2017?

This year's Ultra Europe music festival has been plagued by drama...

In the latest Ultra Europe news, plaintiff Adria MM Productions, LTD (a Croatian company) is suing defendant Worldwide Entertainment Group, Inc (a Florida Corporation) for locking it out of a licensing agreement after falsely representing that it owns the event’s trademark, reports on May 3, 2017.

The federal complaint, which you can read here, was filed in Miami on April 28, 2017, by the Croatian company who said that they have been the exclusive promoter of Ultra Europe and other events under the Ultra brand since July 2013. 

The event, says Adria MM, has attracted more than 100,000 electronic music fans with an increase in attendance each year. 

The introduction to the complaint reads: 

"1. AMM has operated the multi-venue electronic music festival known as “Ultra Europe” since July of 2013. The inaugural event attracted over 100,000 electronic music fans. AMM has increased the attendance each successive year. AMM offered additional events under the “Ultra” brand in subsequent years, including “Destination Ultra” and “Ultra Beach.” AMM is and has been the exclusive promoter of these “Ultra” branded events in Croatia through an exclusive 5-year license agreement (the “Agreement”) with Defendant Ultra, purportedly licensing the trademark ULTRA EUROPE. 

2. Following the successful launch of Ultra Europe (“The Festival”) in 2013, Ultra amended the Agreement to the further financial detriment of AMM, insisting on, inter alia, exclusive approval of vendors, prohibitively expensive staffing arrangements, luxury travel arrangements, and additional promotional fees. Ultra repeatedly threatened to cancel the event when AMM did not acquiesce to Ultra’s increasingly burdensome demands. AMM, reluctant to disappoint thousands of electronic music fans attending the yearly event, strove to meet each and every demand by Ultra, even when such demands were unreasonable and inconsistent with the parties’ intentions when entering into the Agreement. 

3. The final Festival under the Agreement was scheduled to take place July 14-17, 2017. Tickets to the festival began selling in October, 2016. After the event was announced, Defendant Ultra proposed a new, five-year exclusive license agreement and demanded that AMM immediately enter into a new agreement under equally oppressive terms as the Agreement and the spirit in which Ultra was attempting to enforce the Agreement. AMM requested a more even-handed agreement be considered. In response, Ultra immediately cut-off AMM’s access to social media channels used to promote the Festival, disabled AMM’s email accounts used to promote the Festival, prohibited AMM from making any statements to fans or the media, and revoked AMM’s rights to promote the Festival in 2017. 

4. During this time, AMM repeatedly expressed its desire for the Festival to continue in 2017. Cancelling the already-announced festival would be a disappointment to both fans and local businesses that have begun to depend on the revenue brought in annually. Furthermore, AMM had created the market for the event and had invested hundreds of thousands of Euros into the event. AMM was expecting recoup a profit after such investments, and cancelling the event would be financially disastrous for AMM. Aware of AMM’s willingness to acquiesce to almost any of Ultra’s demands rather than cancel the event, Ultra continued to demand that AMM execute a new, unreasonable 5-year license agreement. 

5. Once AMM realized that Ultra would not allow AMM to proceed under the Agreement and would not allow the 2017 Festival to proceed without AMM executing the new agreement, AMM brought the present action.”

This is a developing story, stay tuned! 

You can read the official complaint in its entirety here.