Agents Chase Cash In Vain

Agents and suppliers are chasing cash they say they’re owed by Hendrik van Mol, but the Dutch-based promoter appears to have gone missing and so far their efforts have been fruitless.

Van Mol – also known as “Henk” – is head of Vain Productions, and produced a pan-European tour for English metal band Cradle Of Filth and Finnish folk metal band Turisas. Acts and suppliers claim they’re collectively owed money amounting to tens of thousand of euros.

Both acts’ agents, Paul Bolton from London’s Helter Skelter and Jim Morewood from Swedish-based English Gent Organisation, say van Mol paid his deposits but the bands had problems picking up the staged payments.

Fay Woolven of Sussex-based InPhase Management Ltd., which represents Cradle Of Filth, flew to the show in Pratteln, Switzerland, May 1 in a bid to keep the tour on the road.

“When Henk owed us around euro 15,000, he sent us about euro 1,500, and so we decided to take control of the situation ourselves,” Woolven told Pollstar, explaining how Cradle Of Filth arranged to keep the tour going by picking up the balances for each show from the local promoter on the night of performance.

Cradle Of Filth had contracted with Vain for all of its European run, which started April 16 and took in Germany, Czech Republic, Poland, Belarus, Slovakia, Romania, Serbia, Croatia, Italy, Switzerland, France, Spain and The Netherlands. Woolven says the act is still owed euro 40,000 ($58,793).

“He doesn’t seem to understand that he has to pay the bands and the bills, whatever deal he had or had not done with the local promoters and whether he got the monies in from them or not,” she said.

Van Mol had not responded to Pollstar for comment at press time.

“So far I did not yet receive the money from Serbia and Slovenia. I am hunting it down,” van Mol wrote in a May 1 e-mail provided to Pollstar. Earlier that day he acknowledged his outstanding debt to Cradle Of Filth was up to euro 30,000.

Keeping the show on the road turned out harder than the bands had expected as it turned out they weren’t the only ones that van Mol wasn’t paying.

SilverGray & Niteflite bussing wasn’t receiving its staged payments and the drivers were on the point of taking the bands’ transport back to the U.K.

SilverGray director Saul Levy agreed to continue when the bands committed to provide enough cash on a daily basis to cover the ongoing overheads.

“Trucks don’t run on air,” he told Pollstar. “But we’ll always do as much as we can towards making a situation workable.”

Levy says Vain Productions doesn’t owe his company any money for the spring Cradle Of Filth tour, but he’s still in dispute with van Mol over non-payment for a previous tour. He declined to give any details.

“He started paying off debts from previous tours before he started paying suppliers for this one,” is Bolton’s view of what went wrong.

Both he and Morewood are furious because they say van Mol has pleaded that he doesn’t have the money to settle immediately, although he’s presumably paying deposits for his upcoming tours.

Vain has a package headlined by Chimaira, which opened at The Trix in Antwerp, Belgium, Sept. 16, and takes in Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Poland, Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Italy, France, Switzerland and the U.K.

It wraps at London’s Electric Ballroom Oct. 12. Unearth, Throwdown, and Dååth are the other three U.S. metal acts on the bill.

Chimaira’s agent, Paul Ryan from The Agency Group’s London office, wasn’t available for comment at press time. It hasn’t been possible to get any response from van Mol.

Apart from still owing SilverGray & Niteflite, Irish-based Crossland Bussing – which he used on the previous Cradle Of Filth tour – wouldn’t quote for the spring dates because it was still owed from that previous run.

“Not until I’ve been paid for the last lot, then we’ll start talking about the next tours. That’s what I told him,” said Crossland director Malachy McMullan. He also said he’s still down by a little more than euro 23,000 ($33,832) and that two months ago van Mol told him that he didn’t have that sort of money.

The bussing contract went to Phoenix Bussing and at press time it wasn’t possible to find out if it’s been paid.