Leading Czech ticketing company Ticketportal’s beef is with Borek Jirik’s Punx Not Dead, whose Prague City Festival would have featured Blink-182, New Order, White Lies and Simple Plan. Ticketportal says it can’t refund the 6,000 people who bought them because it doesn’t have enough cash.
“We have notified the police because we can’t understand what Jirik has done with so much money,” Ticketportal chief Lucia Bocánková told Pollstar. She claims her company paid Punx Not Dead 6 million Czech crowns ($314,000) from the box office and lent it a further 1 million ($52,000).
“It’s all over – at least for me,” Jirik told Pollstar after Punx Not Dead was officially declared bankrupt Sept. 13, referring any further questions to Prague’s bankruptcy court.
Bocánková has since appeared on “Black Sheep,” a Czech TV consumer affairs program, where she said that Ticketportal can’t pay refunds until Jirik pays back the money her company already advanced him.
“We’ve contacted the police and asked them to investigate because the bankruptcy shows his company has nothing. Where has all the money gone?” she said.
The ticket situation for the festival is further complicated by the fact that 2,400 of them were actually sold for last year’s festival, when Jirik offered refunds after Blink 182 had to pull out.
She said the actual ticket sales for 2012 came to around 3,600 and the money from those sales had also gone to Jirik.
Jirik has said this summer’s Prague City Festival had to be canceled because the city council failed to come through with the money it had verbally promised, which meant he couldn’t pay the London agents chasing late artist deposits.
The initial court papers showed that at the time of filing for bankruptcy, Punx Not Dead had assets of euro 4,000 ($5,200) and liabilities totaling $1.39 million.
The main creditors appear to be acts booked for the canceled Prague City Festival and the London agencies that booked them, including New Order, Simple Plan, Blink 182 and Primary Talent agency.
Jirik’s also in a legal battle with Nick Hobbs of Istanbul-based Charmenko, which has instigated criminal and civil action regarding their joint venture in Czech promoter Charm Music, of which Jirik has since resigned as executive director and hasn’t been involved in the operations of for a couple years.
The first hearing of the civil action is expected to arrive in the Prague court in November.