BottleRock 2013 vendor wins six-figure judgment

2014-07-25T15:00:00Z 2014-07-25T19:42:36Z BottleRock 2013 vendor wins six-figure judgmentJENNIFER HUFFMAN Napa Valley Register

The two men who produced BottleRock 2013 have been ordered to pay a transportation company more than half a million dollars for services provided during the inaugural Napa music festival.

The judgment, filed in Napa Superior Court on June 20, states that Gabe Meyers and Bob Vogt must pay Bauer’s Intelligent Transportation of San Francisco $598,936.

The entity that the two men created to produce BottleRock 2013, BR Festivals, originally agreed to pay Bauer’s $1.26 million for its services. Bauer’s was paid approximately $737,000 by BR Festivals, but $524,239 remains unpaid.

The trouble between Bauer’s and the men behind BR Festivals began before BottleRock 2013 even started. According to court documents, in early May 2013, Vogt and Meyers “began to give indications” that BR Festivals would not be able to pay for the bus services as contracted,” according to the civil lawsuit.

However, unlike other BottleRock 2013 vendors who were to be paid by BR Festivals, Bauer’s had secured a personal guarantee for payment from Vogt and Meyers.

At the company’s request, Vogt and Meyers provided “written personal guarantees” should BR Festivals fail to pay the transportation company, the suit said.

Bauer’s concerns turned out to be valid. BR Festivals defaulted on more than $4.5 million in unpaid bills and later filed for bankruptcy protection.

In June 2013, Bauer’s sued both BR Festivals and Vogt and Meyers for the unpaid balance. Months of legal proceedings ensued. At one point, a cross complaint was filed on behalf of BR Festivals alleging that Bauer’s did not perform as required.

In the end, the court ruled in Bauer’s favor. Including court costs, interest and other fees, Vogt and Meyers are ordered pay Bauer’s just short of $600,000.

“We do intend to pursue collection against these individuals,” said Aaron Hancock, an attorney representing Bauer’s.

“We want to make sure we get compensated for the work we did,” said Gary Bauer, founder of Bauer’s Intelligent Transportation.

How optimistic is he about getting paid by Vogt or Meyers? Bauer said “It’s hard to say … We’re looking at a couple different options” to collect the money.

Bauer wouldn’t elaborate. “We hope they step up and say, ‘Let’s work with you,’” he said.

Bauer said his bus company did not work at BottleRock 2014, which was run by new promoters. He’s not sure if they will try to be involved in BottleRock 2015. “It all depends on whether we get taken care of,” he said.

An estimated 120,000 people attended BottleRock 2013. According to court documents, festival expenses topped $20 million, but the event generated only $11.2 million in income. BR Festivals spent more than $7 million on 60 bands, including such major acts as the Black Keys, Kings of Leon and Jane’s Addiction.

After the financial disaster of the first BottleRock, a new group of producers, Latitude 38 Entertainment, stepped forward to produce BottleRock 2014. That group produced a shorter BottleRock festival this past May and has already announced plans to hold BottleRock 2015 next May.

Vogt could not be reached for comment. Reached by phone on Thursday, Gabe Meyers declined to comment.

The BR Festivals bankruptcy case continues in federal court.

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(5) Comments

  1. FAndrews
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    FAndrews - July 25, 2014 7:50 pm
    Congrats to Bauer, this is a step in the right direction. Vogt and Meyers need to pay all the outstanding debts from 2013!
  2. Tom74
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    Tom74 - July 26, 2014 10:32 pm
    Just curious here, maybe someone can answer: How did Lat38 acquire an existing business enterprise (BottleRock) without acquiring its debts? When did it become legal to cherry pick the positive equity from an indebted venture?

    "...BottleRock 2013. According to court documents, festival expenses topped $20 million, but the event generated only $11.2 million in income..."
  3. naparealestate
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    naparealestate - July 27, 2014 7:07 am
    Congratulations on being smart enough to secure a personal guarantee.
  4. Trucker
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    Trucker - July 27, 2014 1:10 pm
    Tom, it has always been legal based on the contractual negotions and how smart the parties are in covering liabilities. Bauer is a great guy and smart smart enough to put measures in place when dealing w those who are not reliable...
  5. Old Time Napkin
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    Old Time Napkin - July 29, 2014 1:30 pm
    Tom74, just because you take over a business doesn't mean you assume the liabilities. It all comes down to how the contract was written
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