Grassroots Fest Promoters File Countersuit

The promoters of the Grassroots Music Festival in Council Bluffs, Iowa, have filed a countersuit against the event’s main investor alleging his interference with the event led things off track.  

According to court documents obtained by the Omaha World-Herald, the Dom Group principals Jason Dick and Darik Opperman claim investor Eric Marsh intended to take control of the event and that there was an “imbalance of financial acumen” between the parties.

The suit accuses Marsh of interfering with an advertising deal with several local TV and radio stations owned by E.W. Scripps Co., withholding funds for artists booked through WME and Paradigm for the fest, and of unjust enrichment.

Marsh disputed the unjust enrichment claim and told the World-Herald he advertises with Scripps through other businesses and discussed the music festival with the company before Scripps ended a deal with the Dom Group.

He said he then helped the Dom Group secure a new deal with Scripps. Regarding the claim that Marsh withheld funds for artist deposits, he said he paid “every single dime to every single artist,” other than those booked before he went into business with the duo.

“This thing is so absurd,” he said. “If it wasn’t $400,000 worth of money, it would be hilarious.”

Marsh filed a suit of his own days before the July 31 to Aug. 2 event to enforce his exclusive rights to sell food and beverages.

The suit also sought repayment of roughly $482,000 he invested in the event, and accused the Dom Group of breach of contract, nonpayment of a loan and fraud.

Several local businesses had signed contracts and paid deposits to The Dom Group to sell food during the event before the promoters sold exclusive rights to Marsh. Needless to say, the jilted vendors weren’t pleased, but Dick and Opperman told the paper following the festival that they’d be offering refunds to those parties.

The vendors are apparently still waiting for repayment. A hearing was slated at press time and Marsh was expected to seek an order to lock down the Dom Group’s assets including proceeds in a Ticketmaster account until legal proceedings are resolved, the paper said.