AEG Still Climbing With Kilimanjaro

The cancellation of Sonisphere festival’s UK stop has further clouded the ongoing relationship between AEG and promoter Kilimanjaro Live.

The Hertfordshire stop with Queen, KISS and Faith No More was pulled March 28, two weeks after AEG and Stuart Galbraith’s London-based promoting company “restructured” their deal.

Neither side would disclose details, but both indicated they would continue working together.

Music industry trade papers reported that Galbraith had bought out his 50-50 partner, although in interviews he also made it clear that his company was “still part of the AEG family.”

“Kilimanjaro remains a strategic partner of AEG and the two companies intend to continue to work very closely together going forward,” said Tom Miserendino, AEG’s chief ops officer for Europe.

However, it appears the two companies were no longer working closely together on the UK leg of Sonisphere.

Miserendino directed further Sonisphere questions to Kilimanjaro. “AEG does not have a financial interest in or any obligation to the Sonisphere event at Knebworth,” he said.

So far Galbraith hasn’t responded to requests for comment.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, one London agent with acts on the UK Sonisphere bill said that none of his acts had been paid a deposit but he didn’t anticipate it would be difficult to get compensation for the gig falling through.

“I can’t believe there’s going to be a problem because AEG and Kilimanjaro are both reputable companies,” the agent said.

Many acts were due to receive their deposits during the week after the show was pulled.

The restructuring of Kilimanjaro brought the company 100 percent under Galbraith’s control, although most of the deals for the acts were struck while AEG was still a 50-50 partner.

It seems that ticketholders will have no problem getting refunds as the Sonisphere website says they will “automatically receive a full refund direct from their ticket agents.”

The site says Sonisphere was canceled because it wasn’t possible to “put on the kind of festival that fans and artists expect.”

The event still had what would have been KISS’s only European show of 2012, Faith No More’s only British show, and for Queen – with Adam Lambert on vocals – it was the only show confirmed for this year.

Estimates from ticket industry insiders suggest Sonisphere, which was scheduled for July 6-8, had shifted less than one-third of its 60,000-capacity.

So far there is no reason to believe the Sonispheres scheduled for mainland Europe – in Poland, Spain, Switzerland, Finland and France – are in any danger of not going ahead.

The other acts on the UK line-up included Evanescence, Marilyn Manson, Incubus, Within Temptation, Wolfmother, Mastodon, Lacuna Coil, and The Darkness.