Fiasco After Napa Valley Music Festival

NAPA, Calif. (CN) – The promoter of this summer’s BottleRock music festival in Napa Valley owes workers millions of dollars and refuses to submit to arbitration, as required, according to a stage workers’ union lawsuit and media reports.
     The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees sued BottleRock LLC in Superior Court.
     The union claims BottleRock refused to pay wages and benefits to Local 16 workers who worked the BottleRock Music Festival in Napa Valley from April 30 to May 15 this year. The festival itself was five days long, from May 8 to 13.
     The collective bargaining agreement requires BottleRock to submit to arbitration, but it has refused to do so, according to the lawsuit.
     Workers at the festival claim BottleRock owes more than $2 million: that BottleRock paid the bands, but shafted the nonfamous people who worked behind the scenes.
     The dispute has been widely covered this summer by Napa Valley newspapers and local network TV stations.
     Among those debts, according to the Napa Valley Register and ABC News, were $630,000 to the stage hands; $190,000 to a caterer; $217,000 to a security company; $524,000 to a bus company; more money to vendors; and $106,000 to the City of Napa.
     Some service providers claimed that BottleRock bounced checks.
     Charities were promised as much as $1 million in donations, but that hasn’t happened either, some donors complained to newspapers and TV.
     The Register reported in August that BottleRock is trying to sell itself to Live Nation, which has the money to pay the bills.
     The stage hands union demands arbitration. It is represented by Kristina Hillman with Weinberg, Roger & Rosenfeld, of Alameda.

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