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Some festivals, unfortunately, just have it worse than others. And sometimes, it’s not even their fault. The Paradiso Festival in Washington State is in the middle of a lawsuit between two companies right now. Insomniac just sued USC Events and their parent company, Conscious Entertainment Group, over allegedly mishandling funds during the 2019 edition of the said festival.  Since 2012, EDM promoter Insomniac has partnered with USC Events to hold Paradiso Festival. The annual event has risen in popularity in the past few years. And this was mostly with Insomniac’s help and their choice of superstar headliners. In fact, the festival’s reputation grew so massive that it was then billed as “the largest Electronic Dance Music event ever staged in the Pacific Northwest”. Just as any other year, the 2019 edition proved initially successful. With a lineup that included Alison Wonderland, Bear Grillz, and Tokimonsta, it was no surprise the event saw over 20,000+ attendees. It went off without a hitch, or so it seemed at the time. 

Months after the 2019 edition, vendors and employees that worked during the festival revealed that they remained unpaid for their services. Garnering criticism from the EDM community, this prompted Insomniac to sue USC Events, their parent company, Conscious Entertainment Group, and its CEO, Chad Anderson. In the suit, the EDM promoter company claims that they paid USC Events around $2 million in advance for all the expenses for Paradiso Festival 2019. However, on June 14, 2019, Anderson informed Insomniac that USC had not paid the necessary funds for anything. This ultimately forced Insomniac to shoulder the artists’ fees, which totaled to around $853,705.00.  Unfortunately, that wasn’t the end of event’s mysterious financial problems. Months after last year’s edition, companies contacted Insomniac to complain about their unpaid fees. These vendors inquired about the payment which, in total, amounted to $46,600.00. With no proper explanation from USC Events with regards to the advance $2 million, Insomniac had no choice but to file the lawsuit. And surprisingly, they’ve received support from disgruntled employees within the company. “I was told we were waiting for the settlement to pay the upset vendors. I didn’t know any better, but now that I do I’m even more pissed than I was.” an anonymous USC Events employee told EDM.com

Furthermore, Insomniac’s lawsuit hopes to terminate their partnership with USC Events with regards to Paradiso Festival. This includes barring them from posting about the said event on social media. In a nutshell, Insomniac seeks to stop USC Events from ever mentioning and getting involved with the festival altogether. And if they win, the EDM promoter plans to still set up this year’s edition by themselves or with a different events company.  For now, USC Events and their parent company, Conscious Entertainment Group, have yet to publicly respond to Insomniac’s lawsuit. Either way, it looks like Paradiso Festival 2020 will still push through. Whether it will include the sued parties remain to be seen. Stay tuned on this space for more updates. 

Image Credits:

  1. Insomniac Featured Image – EDMTunes.com
  2. Paradiso Festival – WeOwnTheNiteNYC.com
  3. Fans at Paradiso Festival – RobertTheAwesome.tumblr.com
  4. The Main Stage at Paradiso Festival – Ranin Stone YouTube Channel