Irish Promoter Loses Business

Irish country music promoter James McGarrity has lost his business following a court action brought by an American record company.

“I’m very sad about it, I spent a lot of time, blood, sweat and tears on it,” McGarrity explained after the High Court in Belfast wound up his JW Promotions Ltd. Dec. 8.

He said it was impossible to keep the operation going in the current economic climate.

“I had some successful years but in the last few years I found it hard to make money,” he said. “Selling tickets for concerts is hard at the minute. People don’t have the money to go out – they are worried about their mortgages never mind going to concerts.”

The winding-up petition was brought by River Run Records in Nashville, Tenn., which said McGarrity hadn’t paid a euro 15,000 debt despite having a court order against him for a year.

River Run chief Diane Delena advanced the money to McGarrity to promote her act, Charlie Allen, which she claims McGarrity failed to do.

Earlier this year an investigation by the Irish Independent revealed that McGarrity has also been involved in clashes with a string of top acts including Pogues frontman Shane MacGowan, singer Johnny McEvoy and Vince Gill.

They all said McGarrity billed them as headline acts for concerts around Ireland even though they weren’t booked to play.

Ticketmaster refunded customers who purchased tickets for McGarrity’s “Keltic Hooley” event.

In July the County Donegal festival was canceled because of poor ticket sales.

The cancellation came after MacGowan, who had been advertised as the headliner, posted a message on his official website saying he wasn’t due to appear.

Last year, McGarrity fell out with Gill and McEvoy, after they took legal action to stop him falsely billing them as headline acts for concerts he was promoting.