Lieberberg And Klinger: The Gloves Are Off

The ruck between David Lieberberg and Rock & More doesn’t look as if it will stop short of court as both promoters seem determined to slug it out to the bitter end.

"Let’s have our lawyers talk and then we’ll see," Lieberberg told Pollstar after claiming the reason he quit running Rock & More’s Eastern Division after only seven months was because the Vienna-based parent company stopped paying his salary.

Wolfgang Klinger, who runs Rock & More with Heimo Hanserl, insists that the accountants only stopped Lieberberg’s salary because he failed to comply with their several requests to provide the paperwork and settlements for Bulgarian and Romanian shows the Eastern Division had promoted or co-promoted, with acts including ZZ Top, INXS, Bryan Adams, Seal, and Joe Cocker.

"They called him and kept asking for the papers and he sent nothing. When they said they wouldn’t pay the April salary until the accounts arrived, then he just quit," Klinger explained.

Lieberberg, who is the brother of German promoter Marek Lieberberg, said he refused to provide the accounts and balances because "this has to stay here with the Bulgarian bookkeeper and for the Bulgarian tax office, as I will not run the risk of breaking Bulgarian law."

He said he has a "clear conscience" and that he "never did anything bad to them until they started to screw me."

On April 10th, Klinger told Pollstar Rock & More had started the legal process required to officially strip Lieberberg of his post as managing director of the Eastern Division and would be instructing its lawyers in Austria and Bulgaria to bring him to court to answer criminal charges.

Within a week of the split, Klinger said he found evidence that, apart from taking the Rock & More share of the profit from some of the Bulgarian and Romanian shows, Lieberberg had already been negotiating to supply acts to at least one other promoter in the area.

Lieberberg, who said he never received a contract and is owed his salary for September, October, November and December, said he wouldn’t have been able to "take care of myself and my little family" and would have been "out on the streets" if he hadn’t started securing his own deals in Bulgaria.

Bulgaria has been an expensive territory for the Austrian company: Former partner Krum Manoilov of the similarly named Pick & More disappeared last summer, allegedly owing the old Rock & More Veranstaltungs so much money that it was said to be a contributory factor in the company’s bankruptcy.

Since then, Klinger and Hanserl have started again with a new company called Rock & More Beteilegunts, although Dr. Susi Pariasek – the bankruptcy lawyer who is winding up the old company – is continuing to investigate any financial links between the two.

Since the bankruptcy, the new company has been trying to re-establish itself in Austria and The Balkans and its increasingly busy diary already has three Rolling Stones dates in Serbia, Romania and Macedonia.

However, rebuilding in The Balkans has had its problems.

Zagreb, which had one of the canceled shows on last year’s Bigger Bang tour and would have liked a replacement, was late making an offer to European tour promoter John Giddings of London-based Solo.

Marijan Crnaric, who has been Rock & More’s regular partner in Croatia, and Sasa Britvic, who was head of the city’s concert management company until he was ousted at the end of January, are under police investigation over the accounting for last year’s canceled show.