Nugent loses appeal over concert cancellation

November 2007

Live events industry

The Michigan Court Of Appeal has rejected an appeal by rocker type Ted Nugent who sued music festival Muskegon Summer Celebration after they cancelled a 2003 booking with his band Amboy Dukes after he made allegedly racist remarks in a radio interview. Promoters of MSC cancelled the planned Amboy Dukes set at their 2003 event after a local newspaper reported on the radio interview, comments Nugent had made, and opposition by some local residents to what he had said. They said at the time of the cancellation that “any use of potentially offensive racial terms such as those attributed recently to Ted Nugent do not reflect the spirit of Muskegon nor the Summer Celebration”. Nugent sued the MSC not only for breach of contract over the cancellation but also for libel, slander, “detrimental reliance”, unfair competition and unjust enrichment. The breach of contract claim, heard by a jury, was successful, but a Muskegon County Circuit Court judge dismissed all the other allegations. Nugent appealed that decision, but the Court Of Appeals upheld the dismissals last week. Not only that, but they reduced the compensation awarded to the rocker over the breach of contract claim. At first instance he was awarded $80,000 for breach of contract and $20,000 for lost merchandise sales, but the appeal judges reduced the first amount by $20,000, arguing that, had the gig gone ahead, Nugent would have had to pay 25% of his earnings to his management and agents, who were not party to the lawsuit.

source CMU Daily 22 October 2007

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