On December 5, 2019, Moogfest announced that the 2020 festival would not continue for “logistical reasons” long before COVID-19 wiped out the live music circle. Moog Music is now being sued for alleged breaches of contract in connection with the cancellation. The civil lawsuit was filed on August 11th by UG Strategies (UGS), the marketing and event production company that organized Moogfest 2018. The new lawsuit follows a recent federal discrimination complaint filed by a former sales representative.
In a complaint to the Wake County Superior Court in Raleigh, North Carolina, UG Strategies alleged that Moog wrongly terminated a license agreement for UGS to administer Moogfest in 2018. The company had previously taken on PR responsibilities for previous versions of Moogfest. Moog and UGS reached an agreement that was finalized in March, just two months before the festival in mid-May; it should extend to 2020 and automatically extend for three years unless otherwise violated, claims UGS. But according to the lawsuit, Moog terminated the contract on August 31, 2018.
The complaint alleges that Moog agreed to pay UGS a substantial fee for its services in 2018, but less than half the amount due. Through the lawsuit, UGS is seeking more than $ 25,000 in damages plus legal fees.
When Pitchfork reached him, the attorney for Michael J. Adams, President and CEO of Moog Music, shared the following statement: “It is an unfounded lawsuit filed on the eve of the statute of limitations by a company that terminated its contract . “
Prior to UG Strategies’ lawsuit, another production company attempted similar legal action against Moog. For the 2019 festival, Moog hired a production company called Q Level to run the festival. This October, Q Level filed a complaint alleging that Moog had “revoked Q Level’s rights” to produce subsequent festivals, as set out in a memorandum of understanding that served as a precursor to a formalized licensing agreement.
Last September, Moog filed a counterclaim denying Q Level’s infringement allegations. Moog’s defense claimed, “The parties never had an agreement or expectation for [Moog] compensate [Q Level], rather … the parties considered [Q Level] would withhold 100% of profits and 100% of losses from Moogfest 2019. “The company accused Q Level of withholding social media passwords and damaging the Moog brand for” at least $ 75,000 “with these outdated channels. Moog dropped its counterclaim on October 20th.
After the parties reached a dead end with a mediator on February 17, 2021, the parties agreed to dismiss all remaining claims on April 5.
In addition to the new Moogfest lawsuit, Moog Music Inc. is also facing a state sex discrimination lawsuit filed by former sales representative Hannah Green on March 16, 2021 and amended on May 25. She is demanding more than $ 1.1 million in damages and legal action fees, her attorney Asheville Blade said in June.
In the complaint, Green outlines the months of harassment and undercutting she allegedly faced as she worked her way up from a sales assistant to a high performing member of the sales team. She says that at a time when she was the only woman on the sales team, she was constantly harassed by her male colleagues, especially one person who physically intimidated her several times.
Green claims that she was fired on April 23, 2020 because of her repeated objections to the ongoing harassment she has faced. She claims to have been fired after being denied promotion to a male colleague, “without the vacancy advertised and without an application process, contrary to the company’s written policy.” She also claims that the company denied her the promised severance payment for two months. “Moog’s decision to terminate the applicant’s employment was based on her gender. Alternatively, the defendant fired Green in retaliation for exercising her constitutional right to non-discrimination in the workplace, ”the complaint said.