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Musician suing company for stealing all-female music festival idea

News   •   Jun 04, 2019 08:30 +08

A screenshot of the website for the Country Lake Shake Festival

A country musician has sued a company for stealing her idea for a music festival.

Rae Solomon claimed she was in discussions with Live Nation, a concert promoter and venue operator, to partner with them to set up an all-female country music festival. She said negotiations lasted over several months with conference calls and emails.

And that Live Nation had requested Solomon outline her entire business plan in detail, including an artist lineup, sponsors, vendors, financials and a timeline.

Solomon said that once Live Nation had gathered information about her plans, the executives stopped communicating with her, supposedly claiming an all-female festival was too risky.

The singer found out a month later that Live Nation had announced its own country music festival, Chicago's Country LakeShake Festival. And the first day of the three-day event features an all-female lineup almost identical to Solomon’s pitch.

Solomon's proposed Zenitheve Music Festival would have been held in Chicago and would have had female country musicians Miranda Lambert, Maren Morris, Lauren Alaina and Lindsay Eli on the bill.

These musicians are all performing on the opening day of the LakeShake Festival.

But the representation for the musicians Lambert, Morris and Eli told Billboard they had no knowledge of the Zenitheve Music Festival, and their artists had not been booked.

Solomon said the investors in her music festival withdrew following Live Nation’s festival announcement due to direct competition from Live Nation. She could not find new investors and was unable to forward with Zenitheve.

Solomon’s lawsuit states that she had been pursuing the idea of an all-female music festival featuring country artists since as early as 2017, saying in interviews with several media outlets that she wanted to create something similar to the all-female pop festival Lilith Fair which was the top-grossing touring festival in 1997.

She is is seeking US$25 million in compensation as well as punitive damages and litigation costs.

Live Nation declined Billboard‘s request for comment.

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