Sziget Chases Ticket Money

Sziget Festival officials plan to take legal action to recover nearly euro 40,000 from a Romanian agency Sziget claims sold tickets for last year’s festival in Hungary but hasn’t paid up.

Tamás Hajas from the festival’s finance department says he has run out of patience with George Weiner of Bucharest-based Interactive Entertainment SRL, who runs the Bilet.Ro ticket business, because he’s hung on to the money for more than six months.

Hajas said he began chasing Bilet.Ro shortly after the August festival. The company is offering tickets for U2, Bruce Springsteen, AC/DC, Coldplay, Beyoncé, Simply Red and Lenny Kravitz.

Weiner’s reasons for nonpayment allegedly include, “We were waiting for the euro to drop,” “internal issues” and “delays in transferring the money.”
He promised immediate payment on a number of occasions, and once sent Hajas what appears to be confirmation that a bank transfer had been made. But Sziget says it has received nothing.

On Jan. 13, Hajas said he sent another mail to Weiner to tell him none of the money had arrived.

Weiner then claimed to have made a payment at the end of February, but failed to respond when Hajas asked him to provide the bank’s confirmation that the money had been sent. The money didn’t arrive, according to Hajas.

“Please find attached second transfer. I will get back to you ASAP regarding first transfer as it is not normal for it to take so long,” Weiner wrote in an e-mail March 6, which included what appears to be a bank “swift transfer” confirmation that a second payment of euro 4,000 had been sent the same day.

As neither the first nor the second payment arrived, Hajas said, he continued to chase the money.

On March 10, he received an e-mail from Weiner that said: “The first transfer was delayed in processing – still have not gotten a clear answer as to why – and the value date for that transfer is March 12, while the one I sent to bank on Friday has a value date of March 13. That is the date when funds should be in your account.”

Hajas said he inquired again about the money when it still hadn’t arrived. Weiner told him “the funds have left our account.”

A few days later, when Sziget still hadn’t received any money, Weiner said he will “get to the bottom of this crap and give you full (and clear) info regarding the two payments and next payment.”

On March 20, Hajas received another e-mail from Weiner – the last he’s received – that said: “Without giving a long and pointless explanation of what transpired, suffice it so say that you will have euro 12,000 in your account by Tuesday [March 28].

“No more excuses and no more explanations. Beyond the euro 12,000, I will make arrangements to ensure that the entire outstanding amount is cleared by April 3. I will send you documented proof of the above as it becomes available – during the day today.”

On April 3, Hajas told Pollstar that Sziget still hasn’t received one single euro from Bilet.Ro and he has had no communication from Weiner since the end of March.

“He has not been answering my mails for two weeks,” Hajas said, explaining that – after six months of chasing – he doesn’t see that the festival has any choice other than to take legal action.

Weiner has twice promised Pollstar an explanation of what is going on but has not followed up.

This year’s Sziget (Aug. 12-17) has confirmed The Prodigy, Placebo, Fat Boy Slim, Pendulum, The Ting Tings, Ska-P, Calexico and Klaxons.