Grooveyard Goes Gaga With U.S. Agent

Irish concert promoter Grooveyard is suing American Talent Agency because it claims it paid a $300,000 deposit for two Lady Gaga shows and the U.S. company, which doesn’t represent the “Poker Face” hitmaker, didn’t deliver the act.

The Dublin-based promoter, which specializes in corporate events and conference management, filed the $1 million suit in a Manhattan court. It also claims it paid ATA a further $20,000 to source other acts.

ATA president Matthew “Matteo” Rajkumar did not return a call for comment at press time. Lady Gaga has been repped by William Morris – now WME Entertainment – throughout 2009.

Grooveyard says it first realized something was wrong when it began advertising the shows at Dublin’s O2 Arena and Belfast Odyssey Arena, prompting AEG Live to send a cease-and-desist letter, claiming it had the exclusive rights to promote Lady Gaga.

Solomon Parker from WME says he knew the case was coming up but wasn’t previously aware of the sums of money involved.

Parker is Lady Gaga’s agent for Europe, while company colleagues Marc Geiger/John Marx and David Levy cover the U.S. and the rest of the world respectively.

Grooveyard says it filed suit after it made several unsuccessful attempts to contact ATA to sort things out.

“My client [American Talent Agency] will aggressively defend any lawsuit filed against it,” Jon Jekielek of New York-based attorneys Meyerowitz-Jekielek told Pollstar. He acknowledged receipt of the complaint and the pending New York Supreme Court action and said he was in the process of framing a response.

ATA, which represents dozens of urban, R&B and hip-hop acts non-exclusively, had been reputably run by veteran agent Peter Seitz up until his departure about a year ago.