Becker Quoted in Chicago Tribune on Potential Lollapalooza, Pitchfork CancellationsPartner Jeffrey S. Becker is quoted in today's Chicago Tribune regarding the potential cancellation of the Lollapalooza and Pitchfork music festivals due to coronavirus concerns.
According to the article, Are Lollapalooza, Pitchfork canceled? Everything we know about Chicago’s music festivals so far., "The Lollapalooza contract has a "force majeure” clause that says neither C3 nor the Park District are obligated to hold the festival "if performance is prevented by” events including a flood, fire, "act of God” or terrorist attack; or if there is an order from a public or military authority because of war, hostilities or economic or emergency controls that could not be foreseen."
The article states:
Chicago entertainment and media lawyer Jeffrey Becker, who does not represent either side, said the force majeure clause would most certainly come into play if Lollapalooza is canceled because of a local stay-at-home order.
“If, however, the stay-at-home orders are lifted before August, and Grant Park reopens to the public, it becomes a more complicated question as to whether C3 would actually be ‘prevented’ from holding Lollapalooza due to a government order,” Becker, chairman of the Entertainment and Media Law Practice Group of Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP, said in an email. “Thus, if C3 waits too long to make a decision as to whether it will cancel Lollapalooza, it could find itself seeking to do so in the absence of a force majeure event, which means it may remain on the hook financially under its contract with the Park District.”
The Lollapalooza contract, which is set to expire in 2021, outlines payment requirements if the event is canceled. C3 is on the hook to pay the Park District $1.5 million even if the festival doesn’t happen this year, unless it’s because of force majeure. In that case, C3 must pay $750,000. Becker said C3 may be able to argue force majeure if government officials restrict large events even after the stay-at-home order is lifted; or if the pandemic continues to loom into August as an “act of God,” Becker said, and it would be unreasonable for the Park District to compel the promoter to hold an event that would bring tens of thousands of people in close contact.
To read the full article, please visit the link above.