Cloudy Situation In The Sunshine State

A Florida promoter who recently declared bankruptcy faces a lawsuit from Agency for the Performing Arts for failing to settle up on a pair of Air Supply shows last summer.

Frank Giglio, who heads up Soundstage Live and SSL Entertainment and whose bankruptcy petition lists more than $300,000 in debts to 28 creditors and just over $2,000 in assets, bounced two $12,500 checks as final payments to the duo last summer.

But according to Giglio, a hold on box office receipts by one of the venues he rented for the dates was what caused the nonpayment. Parker Playhouse in Fort Lauderdale paid the box office receipts for an Aug. 27 show, but the Palladium Theater at St. Petersburg College decided to hold the proceeds from an Aug. 28 show after learning Giglio was in litigation with a funding partner for the concerts.

“The agency had known the facilities had been threatened by our partners or their lawyers,” he told Pollstar. “Nobody was hiding that … I told them the box office receipts were going to be paying [the remainder of Air Supply’s fees]. Unfortunately, we did not receive the box office receipts from the Palladium.”

Agency for the Performing Arts filed suit in Hillsborough Circuit Court in early March to recover the $25,000. A representative for APA said she could not comment on the suit as it is ongoing.

Paul Wilborn, executive director for the Palladium Theater, told Pollstar that since the Palladium is part of St. Petersburg College, it follows school policies regarding issuing payments and legal matters.

“We were contacted just right around the concert or just a couple days before by an attorney saying they were going after the proceeds from an upcoming show,” he said.

Wilborn explained gross receipts for the date were around $12,300, however school check-writing policies don’t allow the Palladium to settle until a few days after a show.

“We were ready to pay, we had the check request ready to go down,” he said.

But in the meantime, a school attorney determined the venue should hold the box office receipts until a judge made a decision on where the proceeds should go.

“When our attorney says, ‘Here’s what the court says,’ we’re ready to write a check.”

Giglio said he’s looking into taking action against the Palladium because the contract was with Giglio alone. The venue isn’t the only party Giglio has in his legal sights.

He said he also has a $75,000 cause of action against former co-promoter Nelson Castellano for his role in a 2009 summer concert series and a $150,000 breach-of-contract action against a funding partner for several 2010 dates.

Castellano, who runs American Concerts Inc., told Pollstar Giglio didn’t adhere to a contract they had for the series and that he filed suit against the SSL promoter in late 2009.

The contract, signed by both Castellano and Giglio and dated June 22, 2009, states that all net profits from the “Up Up Close Concert Series” would be “divided evenly between ACI and Soundstage Live Inc. of Florida” and that ACI would be “reimbursed first and foremost for all expenses incurred in the production and promotion.”

Giglio already had a deal with a ticketing company that was to pay all artist fees for the series, according to Castellano. ACI was to provide funding for advertising, hotels backline, sound and lights.

However, as dates occurred, Giglio refused to settle shows or provide box office receipts and continued to seek more funds from ACI, Castellano said. When he refused to front the cash without being provided a full accounting, Castellano said Giglio cut him out of the series before it ended.

Giglio countered that Castellano and the other funding partner tried to pull out when the shows began losing money.

“They both pulled out,” he said. “They were supposed to be participating in the entire series, whether it was financially successful or not.”

A bankruptcy judge is reviewing Giglio’s petition and a creditor’s meeting is scheduled in mid-April.

Castellano said he doesn’t expect that he, APA or any of the other creditors will ever see any money from Giglio, but that he hopes the proceedings will bring to light his dealings in the industry.

“He has a habit of defrauding quite a few people as far as his track record is concerned,” Castellano said. A search of public records turns up several charges against Giglio from the late ’90s for worthless checks as well as theft, forgery and fraud.

Giglio acknowledged that he had a substance abuse problem at that time but said he’s been sober for 10 years and turned his life around. He questioned why Castellano would say such defamatory things when the facts just don’t add up as far as his track record in the concert industry.

“We’ve done a lot of shows in the southeast and a lot of good shows,” he said. “For someone to say that is totally absurd and they should be looked at as a fraud.”