Dogged Promoter Back In Biz?

When Warner Music Group paid $18 million last year for Bulldog Entertainment, the company that offered $15,000 "passports" for a summer concert series in the Hamptons, and muzzled the acquisition months later, it seemed to be a testament to the financial missteps of the record industry.

But despite that disaster, it looks like you can’t keep a good dog down.

Promoter Joe Meli, who headed up Bulldog, is apparently aiming to get back in business on his own.

Fox News gossip columnist Roger Friedman recently reported that the problems with last year’s series had less to do with Meli, who was rumored to be papering the house with celebrities, and more to do with WMG head Edgar Bronfman Jr., who "interfered" with Meli’s vision.

"Joe didn’t lose any money," a source reportedly close to the matter told Friedman. "Bronfman lost $30 million. Things will be much different this year."

Meli has reportedly rented a home in Sag Harbor, N.Y., in which he plans to host private, 250-capacity concerts this summer.

"It’s going to be like a sponsor house," another source told Friedman. "Many different sponsors will have different events going on there."

However, there appears to be a problem when it comes to booking acts for the private shows.

Friedman wrote that tickets for Meli’s first show of the season, featuring Lionel Richie July 5th, would be sold for $1,250 and include a dinner prepared by celeb chef Tom Colicchio.

But a representative for Richie told Pollstar that the rumor was "100 percent inaccurate" and that neither Richie, nor Lenny Kravitz, who was also rumored to be performing this summer, would take the stage for one of the private performances.

Last year’s series featured an all-star lineup including Prince, Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds, Billy Joel, James Taylor and Tom Petty. Only time will tell if Meli will be able to secure such superstar acts this summer. – Dana Parker-McClain