Concert KISS-Off Goes To Court

A Canadian promoter is discovering what happens when you give KISS the kiss-off.

Band management McGhee Entertainment and a touring business representing the band recently sued Vancouver promoter Big Mountain Concerts Co. and president Dennis MacDonald after a KISS concert in the mountain resort of Whistler, British Columbia, was canceled.

According to court documents obtained by, McGhee and GAPP 2002 entered into a contract "partly in writing and partly by conduct" with BMCC for the band to perform a 90-minute concert in Whistler for $900,000.

Tickets went on sale and advertising and promotions for the performance took place, but the show was canned about two weeks before the scheduled September 15th concert on the mountain.

MacDonald told Pollstar that BMCC was forced to cancel because the terms of the contract couldn’t be established.

"We ended up canceling after many discussions with them because we couldn’t come to an agreement with Mr. McGhee and their agent on the terms of the contract," MacDonald said. "The issue was, we were 15 or 16 days away from the concert and we still didn’t have agreement on what Mr. McGhee was requiring.

"It just got to the stage where it became entirely too risky to try and proceed without knowing exactly what the technical requirements for the show were going to be. It’s a big show, they’re a big band and we were doing it on a mountain. There’s a huge amount of logistics involved in it. So, we ultimately never, ever did sign either the contract or the rider."

McGhee et al claim that at all times "it was understood and agreed by the parties that the contract was final and binding" and that at all times "the plaintiffs were ready and able to discharge their respective obligations pursuant to the contract." Vancouver attorney John Elwick, who filed the suit on behalf of McGhee et al, told Pollstar agents for KISS had faxed the contract to BMCC with changes, but never heard back from MacDonald.

The plaintiffs also allege that BMCC engaged in misrepresentation in order to book the KISS show, and had not secured a venue or the finances necessary to stage the concert. In fact, the band "never received an advance," Elwick said. The suit claims that by canceling the KISS concert, BMCC was in breach of contract and injured the reputations of the band and its respective touring and entertainment companies.

But MacDonald contends that the plaintiffs not only knew the venue was booked, but also have documents to show the venue was booked for KISS.

"The contract with the venue was signed on December 6, 2006. It’s been in place now for over a year," he said. "Their saying that we don’t have an agreement with the venue is simply not true, and in fact they’ve got a copy of the contract."

Plaintiffs are seeking general damages of $900,000 in lost revenues plus court fees.