Lawsuit Filed Against 2023 Bamboozle Festival After It Fails to Pay Its Creditor
After the returning 2023 edition of the New Jersey music festival The Bamboozle was canceled abruptly last month, days before its planned May 5–7 program in Atlantic City, NJ.com reported the first lawsuit against the fest and its promoter John D'Esposito has emerged.
The suit was filed in New Jersey's Monmouth County Superior Court last Thursday (May 4), according to documents obtained by the local news source.
Bamboozle Festival LLC and D'Esposito reportedly borrowed $500,000 at a rate of 20-percent interest from a executive named Anthony Martini, it says in the suit.
Yet Martini told NJ.com that he "opened my social media one day to see it was canceled," apparently without prior warning to him.
READ MORE: Your 2023 Music Festival Guide
When he tried to reach Esposto for an explanation, the promoter "wasn't being responsive," the creditor claimed, "so I told him I'm going to have to take it to the next step and hire a lawyer."
The details of the initial payment outlined in the suit allege that Martini wired separate sums of money at D'Esposito's request — $150,000, $80,000, $135,000 and $97,500, respectively — to four talent agencies and entertainment companies last November. He also wired $37,500 to D'Esposito directly, the lawsuit claims, and as NJ.com reported.
The funds, to be included in D'Esposito's budget, were agreed upon in a contract signed that same month. The 20 percent interest rate as a flat fee of $100,000 and a $10,000 per month late fee provision were indicated if the loan wasn't repaid by Jan. 21, 2023.
But the lawsuit claims that Martini received none of the re-payment by the deadline. The total amount due under the contract, with fees, is $630,000. The suit also seeks additional interest, costs and fees.
"I loaned the money," Martini said. "[D'Esposito] said he would pay me back. He's obviously in a not-so-great space. But I shouldn't be screwed over for trying to help him."
Bamboozle 2023 was dealt a blow when Atlantic City denied the festival the required permits. And the festival told vendors in an email last week that it was out of money.
"We are endeavoring to help in every way possible and will continue to do so despite devastating financial hardship," the email said. "Let there be no ambiguity — while we do not have any resources now to make payments, we are doing everything humanly possible to obtain these resources."
Some who purchased Bamboozle 2023 tickets have already reported difficulty obtaining ticketing refunds, per Digital Music News. The Bamboozle was a festival held in New Jersey annually from 2003 to 2012 until D'Esposito attempted to resurrect it this year.
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