Days before its scheduled May 5-7 program in Atlantic City, the returning 2023 edition of the New Jersey music festival The Bamboozle was abruptly canceled last month. According to NJ.com, the festival and its promoter John D’Esposito are now the target of their first lawsuit.
According to paperwork that the regional news agency was able to get, the lawsuit was filed last Thursday (May 4) in New Jersey’s Monmouth County Superior Court.
Bamboozle Festival LLC and D’Esposito reportedly borrowed $500,000 at a rate of 20-percent interest from a executive named Anthony Martini, it says in the suit.
Yet Martini told NJ.com that he “opened my social media one day to see it was canceled,” apparently without prior warning to him.
When he tried to reach Esposto for an explanation, the promoter “wasn’t being responsive,” the creditor claimed, “so I told him I’m going to have to take it to the next step and hire a lawyer.”
The details of the initial payment outlined in the suit allege that Martini wired separate sums of money at D’Esposito’s request — $150,000, $80,000, $135,000 and $97,500, respectively — to four talent agencies and entertainment companies last November. He also wired $37,500 to D’Esposito directly, the lawsuit claims, and as NJ.com reported.
A contract was signed that same month outlining the terms of the funds, which were to be accounted for in D’Esposito’s budget. If the loan wasn’t repaid by January 21, 2023, a provision for a $10,000 per month late fee and a 20 percent interest rate as a flat fee of $100,000 was stated.
But according to the lawsuit, Martini didn’t get any of the money back by the due date. With fees, the total sum owed under the contract is $630,000. Additional interest, fees, and costs are also sought in the lawsuit.
“I loaned the money,” Martini said. “[D’Esposito] said he would pay me back. He’s obviously in a not-so-great space. But I shouldn’t be screwed over for trying to help him.”
When Atlantic City refused to issue the festival with the necessary permits,
Bamboozle 2023 suffered a setback. And last week, the event informed merchants via email that it was out of money.
“We are endeavoring to help in every way possible and will continue to do so despite devastating financial hardship,” the email said. “Let there be no ambiguity — while we do not have any resources now to make payments, we are doing everything humanly possible to obtain these resources.”
Some who purchased Bamboozle 2023 tickets have already reported difficulty obtaining ticketing refunds, per Digital Music News. The Bamboozle was a festival held in New Jersey annually from 2003 to 2012 until D’Esposito attempted to resurrect it this year.
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