MCD sues Prince for €1.6m for cancelling June concert


POP SUPERSTAR Prince is being sued for €1.6 million by promoters MCD over cancelling his planned performance at Croke Park earlier this year.

MCD productions has initiated proceedings against Prince Rogers Nelson, claiming financial loss and damage to its commercial reputation over his cancellation of the concert due to be played on June 16th.

At the High Court yesterday, Rossa Fanning, for MCD, told Mr Justice Michael Peart a letter of demand was sent on October 16th last setting out the amount MCD claim they are due because of the cancellation. It was sent to Prince’s private residence, a New York firm of lawyers and the address of the artist’s recording studio.

The letter sent to Prince’s home was returned as “undeliverable” but the other letters were not returned. As a result, MCD wanted orders from the High Court that would allow them to formally serve the proceedings on Prince which would limit the time in which he can enter an appearance.

The judge agreed to grant the orders. In an affidavit, a solicitor on behalf of MCD said Prince, through his agent Tony Goldring of the William Morris agency, Beverly Hills, California, had entered into a contract with MCD to perform at Croke Park.

MCD claims, in return for a fee of $3 million (€2.19 million), Prince agreed to perform the said concert.

Following payment of $1.5 million to the account of Prince’s agent, Mr Goldring sent an unambiguous e-mail on February 28th confirming the agreement between both parties, it is claimed.

On June 6th, Prince gave notice through his agent that he wished to cancel. More than 55,000 tickets had been sold. Despite MCD’s best efforts to persuade the artist to play, Prince refused. No reason of substance was ever given for the cancellation, MCD alleges.

While it was the normal practice for promoters to obtain insurance against cancellation, it is only available for cancellation due to specific unforeseeable circumstances, MCD said. No policy of insurance would insure against cancellation due to “a whim” by the performer.

MCD claims the cost of the cancellation amounted to €1,664,945. MCD, which said it incurred substantial costs in promoting the concert, said all the tickets were refunded.

MCD says it has a good cause of action against Prince. While there is no actual written contract with Prince, it is claimed the e-mail correspondence between MCD director Denis Desmond and Mr Goldring makes it “abundantly clear” a concluded contract was entered into by both parties.