Two Austrian promoters have accused German agent Willi Wrede of hanging on to deposits long after knowing the shows were canceled and trying to get out of paying them back.
"Wo ist mein Geld [Where’s my money]?,"Austrian promoter Michael Ehrenbrandtner wrote to Wrede via e-mail, along with a string of exclamation marks stretching across the page.
Ehrenbrandtner said he booked Survivor for an August 18 appearance at Krone Festival, a date he couldn’t shift, and paid a euro 3,670 deposit on April 26th.
The tour was moved about a week later and then canceled. Ehrenbrandtner said he’s been trying to get his money back ever since.
"I presume that you intend to defraud money with a deceitful intention," he wrote to Wrede on another of several attempts in the last four months to sort things out.
Wrede, who is managing director of ROM Entertainment & Consulting GmbH in Metzingen-Neuhausen, told Pollstar the money was repaid August 10 and was delayed because his company had to wait until it had "worked out the contracts with the U.S. agent." Ehrenbrandtner says he hasn’t received it
Jim Lenz of California-based Paradise Artists, Survivor’s agent, said his company didn’t receive any advance money for the tour.
"I am not sure what his office is doing and I hope that any issues between the local promoters and his office are resolved," Lenz told Pollstar. "I will confirm that we never received any deposit money from him regarding any Survivor dates. We are not holding any deposit money from his proposed tour."
Wrede’s company books The Sweet, David Knopfler, Slade, Kim Wilde and Manfred Mann’s Earthband, among others mentioned on the ROM Web site. The company is also involved with some small German festivals, including the September 14-15 Rock Army at Günzburg.
Christian Gerber booked Survivor for September 25 and sent a euro 2,750 deposit to Wrede at the beginning of August. The show was canceled two weeks later and Gerber says he hasn’t had his deposit returned.
He also bought a Smokie show from Wrede that was scheduled for the same venue January 13. He said he sent his euro 3,500 deposit at the beginning of July.
Wrede pulled the show September 11. Although he would hardly have had time to return that deposit by press time, John Wagstaff – Smokie’s manager – said the act canceled the date three months ago.
According to Wagstaff, Wrede must have known the show wasn’t happening at least two weeks before Gerber sent his deposit.
"I canceled it with Willi on the 16th of June because we do a lot of work for Soulshine [another agency].
"And when Willi booked us into Austria, [Soulshine’s] Jurgen phoned and told me that it would cause us problems with the ski resorts. I told Willi to take it out. Willi was only supposed to do Germany," Wagstaff explained.