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  • Scott Poynter

Thunder on the Mountain Update


Attorneys at Steel, Wright & Collier continue battling the organizers of Thunder on the Mountain, which cancelled the Ozark, Arkansas music festival to be held in June of 2015, in both state and federal courts in Arkansas.

The original class case was filed in Pulaski County Circuit Court in Little Rock, Arkansas -- Judge Alice Gray presiding.

The state court case was brought on behalf of all Arkansans that purchased Thunder on the Mountain tickets online, and were left holding the bag after the organizers cancelled the festival just before it was to begin.

Judge Gray has entered default judgments against Pipeline Productions, Inc. and Backwood Enterprises, LLC, the two entities that were to manage the festival, when they failed to respond to the summons and complaint. The other two defendants are The Madison Companies, LLC, and Horsepower Entertainment, LLC, which are venture capital funds that were supposed to fund Thunder on the Mountain.

Madison and Horsepower have done nothing but delay the case. First, they filed motions to dismiss. Then they filed motions to compel arbitration. For the most part, Judge Gray has denied these motions and has ordered Defendants to engage in discovery. But because the denial of the arbitration motion allows for an interlocutory appeal, both Madison and Horsepower have appealed that ruling and have moved the Arkansas Court of Appeals to stay all proceedings before Judge Gray during the course of their appeal. Of course, we are fighting all continued delay tactics.

We also filed a federal class action in the Eastern District of Arkansas in Little Rock. This case is much broader and is designed to recover everyone's damages that purchased tickets to the festival, parking passes, camping passes, and vendor booths. Honorable Judge Kristine Baker presides over this action, and as in the state case she has also entered default judgments against Pipeline and Backwood. The owner and operator of these two entities is Brett Mosiman, and he also failed to respond to the federal summons and complaint. So Judge Baker also entered default judgment against Mr. Mosiman. Both Madison and Horsepower have employed their stall tactics in federal court, and have moved to compel arbitration and resist any and all discovery. We await Judge Baker's decision on the motion to compel arbitration, but she has entered a scheduling order providing that discovery may begin in mid-August 2016.

Never disclosed to ticket purchasers while promoting the festival was that these organizers were suing one another in courts in Delaware and Kansas. Madison and Horsepower struck first with the filing of a lawsuit against Mr. Mosiman and his two concert promotion companies plus another. The case was filed in Delaware on April 15, 2015 -- about two months before cancelling the festival. Mr. Mosiman and his companies returned the favor by suing Madison and Horsepower in Kansas in May 2015.

In Delaware, the Court determined it lacked jurisdiction and dismissed the case saying it appeared to him that a deal of some sort was struck between all of these defendants and would be determined in the Kansas federal lawsuit. Of course, Madison and Horsepower have appealed that ruling.

In Kansas, the federal judge had denied the flurry of motions filed by Madison and Horsepower, and moreover, recently ordered that the parties must engage in the discovery process.

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