Bon Jovi concert promoter sued in 2007 for cancelling KISS concert days before show

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Paper Rain Performances

The concert promoter responsible for putting on the failed Bon Jovi and the Kings of Suburbia concert in Stanley Park this weekend is no stranger to conflict.

Dennis MacDonald, president of Paper Rain Performances, was previously sued by KISS’ touring company for a breach of contract in the cancellation of a 2007 concert in Whistler and produced a failed music event in 2001.

Vancity Buzz was tipped off to a 2007 CBC News story Thursday morning which detailed a lawsuit filed against Dennis MacDonald and his former company Big Mountain Concert Co. after allegations the company breached their contract with KISS’ entertainment company McGhee Touring Ltd.

The court filing dated November 28, 2007 stated MacDonald and Big Mountain Concert Co. had broken their contract, which included particulars such as cancelling the September 15, 2007 concert, refusing to pay McGhee Touring and KISS $900,000, and failing to make any or adequate arrangements for the concert.

The lawsuit states MacDonald and his company failed to secure a venue for the concert or the financing needed for the staging of the concert and make “adequate or any arrangements for the staging of the concert.”

KISS’ company requested a payment of US$900,000 in lost revenue.

According to statements made by MacDonald at the time, it was the band’s fault for consistently changing their requirements for the concert, so much so that they never even signed a contract, forcing them to cancel the show just over one week in advance.

While MacDonald says he and his company won the legal action against McGhee Touring and Kiss, this was not the first nor the last time he cancelled a major entertainment event at the last minute.

According to a Pique article from 2001, an event called ‘Cabin Fever’ produced by Shout Entertainment, a major summer event known to be the sister attraction to ‘Altitude’, Whistler’s LGBTQ ski week, was also cancelled just a few weeks before it was set to happen. MacDonald served as President of Shout Entertainment at the time.

In a similar fashion, MacDonald blamed Tourism Whistler, calling them an “arrogant bunch of people” for declining to help fund the concert when asked only two months in advance. In the fall out, MacDonald claimed he asked earlier, but Tourism Whistler said their budget is set by November every year and MacDonald was too late.

Records also show MacDonald was once the President and Senior Partner for a Vancouver company called Playground Performances. His bio on that website, which now redirects to the defunct website of Paper Rain Performances, claims he has been bringing “the biggest names in entertainment” to Vancouver for the last 25 years. He was previously the Director of Corporate Sponsorship for Expo ’86 and Marketing Manager for Xerox Canada.

That company apparently signed a now-obsolete boy band named US5 to play at a Michael Jackson tribute concert in Vienna featuring Mary J. Blige and Natalie Cole. That was the only press release on their website.

Now, Jon Bon Jovi’s management team is considering legal action against MacDonald and Paper Rain Performances.

“A wrong has been done and hopefully it can be righted through the court system,” Paul Korzilius of Bon Jovi Management told Vancity Buzz earlier today. According to him, lawyers have been called.

“He’s not making any money, that’s for sure,” Korzilius said. “It does cost money to do shows. Trust me, everybody’s come in, everybody’s covered the party. We’re paying cost and cost only. It’s not an income opportunity.”

Bon Jovi/Shutterstock

SEE ALSO: Bon Jovi's tour manager speaks out, hints legal action

The only people not paying the cost of the relocated concert at Rogers Arena are Paper Rain Performances who have now filed for bankruptcy.

“We regret to advise that effectively immediate… Paper Rain Performances is insolvent,” reads a statement. “We are deeply troubled by the disappointment that this has caused the artist’s fans and the City of Vancouver in general.”

Like he did in 2001 and 2007, MacDonald again blamed the other parties involved with putting on the event, claiming Bon Jovi’s camp would not provide necessary marketing materials to sell out the event and increase ticket revenue.

A statement issued by Bon Jovi Tours Inc. earlier this week said the band was “ready and willing” to give a great performance but Paper Rain Performances was unable to guarantee a “properly-produced event.”

“We have recently learned that Paper Rain Performances has failed to procure staging materials and failed to pay the band, staging, security, lighting vendors, etc. As such, they have not met their contractual obligations,” the statement continued.

MacDonald told the QMFM radio station on Tuesday they had only sold 60 per cent of the 14,000 available tickets. Passes were priced steeply between $39 and $595.

All tickets for the canceled Stanley Park event will be honoured at the Rogers Arena event this Saturday.

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Jill Slattery Jill Slattery was born and raised in Vancouver, where she also earned an Arts degree from UBC in English and Creative Writing. She is an avid TV-watcher and a shameless Taylor Swift fangirl. Jill is a Staff Writer at Vancity Buzz. Contact her at jill@vancitybuzz.com
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