What was one of Las Vegas’s most famous casinos willing to pay top DJ Kaskade to play nightly at a fancy new club? A $7.95 million payday for a run of 37 remaining shows at the KAOS nightclub was revealed in court filings earlier this week as lawyers battle it out over what the artist is owed for gigs he was supposed to play at the now-defunct venue inside Las Vegas’ Palms Casino.
The seven-figure payday works out to about $214,000 per show for Ryan Raddon, who performs as Kaskade and is suing F.P. Holdings, a limited partnership connected to the Palms, for breach of contract over his residency deal. Raddon accuses the company of failing to pay the remainder of his contract after closing its KAOS nightclub last November. Opened in April 2019 with a residency from global superstar Marshmello as part of a $690 million renovation of the Palms, the club lost nearly $50 million, according to a Nov. 6, 2019, quarterly earnings call, and shut down permanently.
Raddon’s lawyers say he is owned payment for 37 canceled shows through the end of 2020, but lawyers for FP Holdings are demanding the DJ turn over financial records documenting any makeup income he generated during the period he had been contracted to play KAOS after the venue had been closed. That included all communications with the Wynn, Hakkasan and Tao, a request Raddon’s lawyers called “overbroad and unduly burdensome.”
Raddon objects to the request “on the grounds that it calls for the production of documents that are not relevant to the claims or defenses of any party and it is not reasonably calculated” to uncover any “admissible evidence,” attorney Alex L. Fugazzi wrote.
Lawyers for the hotel disagreed, arguing that since Raddon was “seeking one hundred percent of the performance fees (his team) claim are due for thirty-seven unperformed shows at KAOS in late 2019 and all 2020” FP Holding plans to argue “that any damages Plaintiffs seek should be offset by performance fees [Raddon)] earned from other shows [his team] were able to book (or through reasonable diligence could have booked) during the subject time period once they terminated the agreement.”
This line of argument, advanced by attorney J. Colby Williams, is generally not accepted by any artists or agency. The universal rule is that promoters and venues pay the artist the full amount they were guaranteed for the show, whether or not the artist is able find new work after the show is canceled. Often cancellations leave artists with very little time to book new shows and put their agents at a disadvantage when it comes to negotiating new bookings to replace lost gigs.
The contract “states exactly what damages Plaintiffs are entitled to in the event of a material breach by your client, and Plaintiffs remain fully entitled to that relief regardless of any other performances held after the agreement was terminated,” attorney Jordan W. Siev wrote to Williams on July 27. He also noted that Kaskade didn’t play any concerts within 100 miles of Las Vegas during the contract period, which was not allowed under the agreement.
Neither Fugazzi nor Williams could be reached for comment at press time.