Hollingsworth Hit For More Costs

Promoter Tony Hollingsworth’s reputation and wallet continue to take a beating in the Singapore courts, following his efforts to stage a charity mega-concert on the island in 2006.

At the end of October the Singapore High Court pushed the damages up by SGD$500,000 Singapore dollars ($360,000), the cost of Hollingsworth’s appeal against losing a breach of contract lawsuit brought against him by the local tourist board in 2006.

His legal battles on the tiny island city-state have now set him back S$6.661 million ($4.77 million).

Hollingsworth, the man behind such companies as Children’s Media Ltd. (CML) and Tribute Third Millennium Ltd., had originally partnered with the Singapore Tourist Board (STB) to stage Listen Live at the 40,000-capacity National Stadium in fall 2005.

He had SGD$6.15 million (then $4.89 million) out of the STB to produce the event, which reportedly had the backing of such stars as Brooke Shields and former Eurythmic Dave Stewart.

Hollingsworth postponed the show, which was set for Sept. 30 and Oct. 1, to April 2006. He canceled it altogether three months before showtime.

The tourist board took him to court for the return of the money and, after a three-week trial in September and October 2007, Justice Lai Siu Chiu ruled that Hollingsworth, Tribute and CML had failed to fulfil their contractual obligations.

The judge also said Hollingsworth wasn’t a credible witness and that he “had no compunction either to lie or to give his own slant to the facts.”

The UK promoter claimed his company had made up the pot to more than SGD$11.6 million ($8.37 million) and it had all been legitimately used to globalise the campaign, attract sponsorship and prep the Singapore show. He said the show was canceled because the money ran out before a sponsor was found.

Hollingsworth appealed the verdict but in November 2008, the Court of Appeal – the island’s highest court – dismissed the appeal and fully supported the original High Court ruling.

The Singapore incident isn’t the first time one of Hollingsworth’s Tribute companies has been in trouble.

He signed contracts to present two events in the UK in 1997. Although a Carlsberg-sponsored event at Wembley Stadium shifted 68,000 tickets, Tribute CL – the Hollingsworth firm running the show – went into liquidation with hundreds of thousand of pounds worth of debt, mainly due to suppliers in the concert industry in and around London.

Later in the year his Tribute Moscow company was given about $5 million to produce the city’s 850th anniversary celebrations. But Tribute Moscow also went bust and Hollingsworth failed to deliver the show he’d promised.

Moscow show producer Andrei Konchalovsky, who was instrumental in sourcing some of the money, later took High Court action in London, suing Hollingsworth for the fees that he was owed.