Promoter v. Pepe Aguilar

Mexican singer Pepe Aguilar has been hit with a $700,000 lawsuit by a promoter who claims the artist is guilty of canceling concerts in Boise, Idaho, and Salt Lake City minutes before each show.

Promoter Eddie Serrato believes Aguilar should pay him despite Serrato being tardy on the contract’s deadlines. He was also $100 short on the Boise deposit and $10,000 short on the Salt Lake City deposit. The suit acknowledges that, when Aguilar showed up at the venues for each of the shows, Serrato didn’t have the remaining balance.

Serrato says ticket sales for both shows were severely affected because Aguilar canceled or failed to appear at radio interviews to promote the Boise and Salt Lake City shows, thus affecting his ability to pay the remainder of the guarantees.

The Boise contract required the promoter “pay an initial deposit of $20,000 on or before July 24, 2008, a second deposit of $20,000 on or before July 31, 2008, and the balance [$40,000] in cash three hours before the performance on Aug. 8, 2008,” according to the suit.

Serrato made two payments of $9,950 by wire transfer July 25, a deposit of $15,000 by wire transfer Aug. 4 and a deposit of $5,000 by wire transfer Aug. 5.

In the lawsuit, Serrato said everything seemed in order. Despite the fact that the payments were made late and he was $100 short, Aguilar didn’t tell him he was in breach of the Boise contract or that the singer wouldn’t perform.

“Instead, defendants through their conduct and that of their representative communicated to plaintiff that timely payment of the amounts specified was not required, and had been waived,” according to the suit.

On the day of the Aug. 8 show at Boise’s Qwest Arena, Serrato didn’t have the $40,000 deposit balance available three hours before the concert. Instead, one hour before the show, Serrato gave Aguilar a cash payment of $6,500 and a cashier’s check for $23,500. He said the balance of $10,000 would be paid during the performance as more tickets were sold.

The suit notes that initially the singer’s representatives and manager accepted the $30,000 offer, but then returned the cashier’s check and kept the $6,500 in cash and said Aguilar would not perform. Serrato was forced to issue refunds for the show.

The Salt Lake contract with the promoter contained deposit stipulations similar to the Boise contract.

Serrato made a deposit of $50,000 by wire transfer on July 28 – short $10,000.

At the time of the Aug. 9 Salt Lake City show at the South Towne Exposition Center, Serrato said he wouldn’t be able to pay the $100,000 agreed to. According to the suit, this was significantly due to Aguilar’s failure to do the promised radio interviews and the public learning that the singer had canceled the Boise show the night before.

Serrato offered to instead pay Aguilar $30,000 in addition to the $50,000 he paid July 28 for a total of $80,000. The suit says a representative for Aguilar agreed to accept the $30,000 and the cash was delivered to Aguilar’s rep. The South Town Exposition Center opened its doors and began to admit fans.

Aguilar’s rep then told Serrato the singer had changed his mind and would not perform that evening. The $30,000 was returned.

Aguilar published a letter in Spanish to his fans addressed “To All of Idaho.” According to the suit, the letter states that Aguilar had to cancel the Boise show “for reasons having nothing to do with myself or any member of my team.”

 He wrote that the “public” was the most important factor in his career and that it didn’t matter if he performed for 100 or 100,000 people.

He said he would be contacting Senator Curt McKenzie to put on a free concert for Boise “as soon as possible.”