Kansas promoter Brett Mosiman was ready to chase former KAABOO owner Bryan Gordon to the end of the earth to collect a $7 million judgement delivered by a Kansas jury in February, but that will no longer be necessary after the men settled their claims last week over the canceled 2015 Thunder on the Mountain festival in Ozarks, Ark.
Mosiman had filed a second lawsuit against Gordon in San Diego in December accusing the Madison Companies chairman of trying to hide his assets after selling KAABOO late last year. Mosiman was also working with his attorney to prepare their enforcement option for the Kansas judgment, but neither remedy will be needed after Mosiman filed a notice with the Kansas court Wednesday saying that Gordon and the companies he controls have satisfied the terms of the judgement “in an amount of which has been fully agreed to by the parties.”
In a brief email exchange, Mosiman could not reveal how much he would receive as a result of the judgement but he did tell Billboard “the parties have fully resolved their disputes” and confirmed that he was dropping his second lawsuit in California. A large portion of the proceeds from the lawsuit will be used to settle a class action lawsuit brought by Thunder on the Mountain ticket holders and vendors who sued both Mosiman and Gordon in Arkansas court after the festival was cancelled and refunds weren’t issued.
Mosiman is the founder of the Wakarusa festival and had been hoping to revive the Thunder on the Mountain series when he was approached by Gordon and his business partners Seth Wolkov and Robert Walker from the Denver-based Madison Companies in 2014. The Colorado businessmen claimed to be “billionaires” who bragged that they owned “so many hotels we can’t even count them” and regularly bought “$400 bottles of wine like they’re Chiclets,” Mosiman said in court documents.
After months of negotiations, Gordon agreed in principle to invest in the festival and made an initial payment of $232,000 in artist deposits. The men never signed an official contract and when ticket reports came in far lower than expected, Gordon attempted to change the terms of the deal, before walking away all together. Without the promised additional funding from Gordon, Mosiman was forced to cancel the event two weeks before it was scheduled to occur. Gordon responded by allegedly poaching Mosiman’s “partners and employees” away for Gordon’s new business venture — the KAABOO festival, which he launched in Del Mar, Calif. in 2015.
Gordon later claimed the $232,000 was simply a loan to Mosiman and said the lack of an official contract eliminated his liabilities to Mosiman or the ticket buyers of the festival. But U.S. district court Judge Kathryn Vratil disagreed, telling jurors that contracts “may be oral or written, or implied from the conduct of the parties.” After a two-week trial and six hours of deliberations, the jury unanimously returned a verdict that found Gordon’s companies liable on multiple counts of breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty and tortious interference. Mosiman’s lawyers called the verdict “a complete vindication.”
While the settlement ends Gordon’s long running dispute with Mosiman, he has at least two other major legal hurdles in front of him. In Delaware, two men who bought KAABOO from Gordon in 2019 allege that in a counterclaim to a lawsuit that Gordon fraudulently misrepresented key details about the financial health of the festival, withheld proceeds that were meant to go to the new owners and allegedly failed to disclose a number of legal claims brought by vendors who say they are owed money by Gordon.
On Tuesday, the counterclaim was expanded, naming Gordon’s business partners Wolkov and Walker as defendants.
In Delaware, Gordon is facing a lawsuit from his ex-wife, Molly Kingston, who accuses him of misappropriating $22 million from a fund the two set up after their divorce in 2011, following 12 years of marriage. Lawyers for Kingston accuse the 58-year-old Gordon of transferring millions out of the holding company to pay for the KAABOO festival, defend against a lawsuit filed by a former business partner and buy a $1.6 million house in Vail, Colorado.
Gordon declined to comment for this article, but wrote in an April affidavit in the Kingston case, “I vehemently deny any wrongdoing or alleged fraud by Plaintiff and greatly desire to tell my side of this case. At this juncture, however, Im focused on venue-related facts.”