Partnership Loses Its Charm

The three-year partnership between Charmenko chief Nick Hobbs and Borek Jirik’s Berlin-based Transmusic appears to have fallen apart amid threats of legal action.

Hobbs’ Istanbul-based business set up Charm Music with Jirik in 2008 to stage arena shows in the Czech Republic, where Charmenko worked with club-level promoters.

But they’ve fallen out over the way the business was run as it ran up losses of hundreds of thousands of euros.

“I learned not to enter into a partnership unless your partner is prepared to put in as much money as you,” Hobbs told Pollstar.

He said Charmenko underwrote first-year losses in the region of euro 70,000 ($104,000), and he decided to discuss the matter with Jirik when it became obvious he wasn’t prepared to share the downside.

Hobbs said the matter looked to be resolved a year ago when Hobbs agreed to buy out Jirik, who then pulled out of the deal a few hours before it was to be signed.

Two months later Jirik resigned as executive director but still hung on to his shares.

Hobbs said he had no option but to keep working with Jirik as his Czech partner because in 2010 Charm had already lined up shows including Green Day, Radiohead, Joe Satriani, Public Enemy, Goldfrapp, The Gaslight Anthem, Gogol Bordello, Billy Idol and Massive Attack.

That year’s losses ran into “hundreds of thousands” and Hobbs’ lawyers have subsequently looked into how Jirik was running it.
Jirik’s now allegedly stopped working with Hobbs and set up Punx Not Dead, which will organise this year’s new Prague City Festival June 23. The lineup includes The Hives, 30 Seconds To Mars, House Of Pain, Skindred, The Gaslight Anthem, Gogol Bordello and Hadouken.

He’s also booking acts for three other Czech festivals and is now competing with Hobbs to promote tours that visit the region.
Jirik said he isn’t aware that there’s any legal action in progress and would treat it the way that “old lady gossip deserves.”

“I understand Nick needs time till he learns how to promote shows on his own without a locally established contact,” Jirik said. He claims the company could have made a lot of money in the Czech market in 2011 and that Charmenko failed to recognise it.