The future of the highly popular Paradiso Festival — the big EDM gathering at the Gorge Amphitheatre — is in doubt after one of the event’s co-producers filed a lawsuit against the other this week in federal court seeking millions in damages.
Insomniac Holdings has filed suit against Conscious Entertainment Group, a company owned by Chad Anderson and doing business as USC Events. The two had an agreement to jointly promote Paradiso until Insomniac voided the contract due to what it said were artists fees and other expenses left unpaid by USC Events during the 2019 event last June.
Anderson said in a statement Friday: “USC Events finds these recent allegations disheartening and disagrees with this lawsuit. We are disappointed that Insomniac would decide to strain our long-tenured relationship with this litigation, over an event that USC has created from inception.” The statement indicated USC Events would be filing a legal response.
Insomniac’s attorneys could not immediately be reached for comment Friday afternoon.
Insomniac Holdings and USC Events started doing business in 2013, a year after the festival was founded, and shared net profits and losses equally. The lawsuit says Insomniac Holdings advanced more than $2 million to USC Events last winter and spring in the run-up to the event to pay advances and other expenses.
As the June 14-15 festival approached, however, and in the aftermath, artists and vendors began to tell Insomniac officials that they had not been paid. Ultimately, Insomniac paid an additional $1.2 million to artists and vendors to keep the festival’s brand and its relationship with artists who perform at other Insomniac events intact, the suit says.
The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Seattle, asks that a judge immediately issue an injunction to stop Anderson from promoting or booking artists for a Paradiso 2020 event and to pay back Insomniac Holdings for advances it says did not go to their intended recipients — the artists and companies that participate in the festival.
Paradiso is one of EDM’s more popular festivals. Premier artists such as Skrillex, Kaskade and Armin Van Buuren have headlined the event, which draws more than 25,000 fans each day, according to the suit.