Last Saturday saw tens of thousands turning out for the terrific weather and tunes of Newcastle’s Fat As Butter Festival, but over at the NSW Supreme Court, it was a far colder atmosphere as the no-show of the music festival’s 2011 leg, pop rapper Flo Rida appealed a $400,000+ judgement against him for his failure to appear at the prominent event.
News Ltd reports that Flo Rida, real name Tramar Dillard, and his management are appealing $380,400 in damages and $37,745 in legal fees he owes promoters of the Fat As Butter music festival for not fulfilling his scheduled slot last year, pulling out just two hours before he was due on stage, angering many of th 11,000-strong crowd – who’d payed upwards of $110 a ticket – with presenters fluffing, “Flo Rida has slept in and will not be able to make the concert.”
Festival organisers, Mothership Music, reportedly tried everything they could to transport the headliner from Sydney to the Newcastle event, apologising profusely over social media to the many disgruntled punters, attempting to sue Flo Rida and his management, VIP Entertainment and Concepts, only for the 32-year-old chart botherer to evade lawyers over his shonky commitments, until he was eventually served with papers over Facebook.
On top of that however, Flo Rida and his manage ment were ordered to pay $380,400 in damages and $37,745 in legal fees for loss of revenue, poor ticket sales and lost sponsorship over Flo Rida’s notorious no-show.
Justice Judith Gibson of the NSW Supreme Court allowed the summons to be served by social media to bring the commercial rapper to court for hi inability to attend both his festival appearance, but also a NSW District Court hearing from last month.
Dillard however, claimed that Justice Gibson erred by allowing the summons to be served through unconventional means. His appeal states that the Facebook summons “was not validly served on the appellant (Dillard)” and that the judge didn’t have the jurisdiction to serve the summons by social media.
It’s a sneaky, last-ditch attempt by Dillard and his team to avoid the costs of ghosting on his appearance. Interestingly though, they have only disputed the method of Flo Rida’s summons, not the basis of the damages claim or even their lack of responsibility towards Fat As Butter festival.
“Flo Rida does not seek to argue that the money is owed” said Matt Hourn of Neville & Hourn Legal, the lawyer representing the Newcastle music festival, called the appeal “incompetent… as the proper course should have been to set aside the judgment in the District Court,” said Hourn.
“On a positive note, this is the first we have heard from Flo Rida or his representatives since the case began. In any event, we will be seeking security for costs – in other words, money up front – from Flo Rida before the appeal is heard.”
Another positive note is that a freezing order has been placed on Flo Rida, meaning that “he either has to pay off the debt in full, or risk that any funds earned in Australia will be frozen,” Hourn said.
A freezing injunction certainly won’t help his situation, but it may be the case that he literally can’t afford to pay the $400,000 plus damages anyway if reports from The Daily Mail are correct, alleging that at home – the rapper owes over $1 million to the IRS.
The IRS filed in Flo Rida’s county court earlier in the month with legal documents showing that Dillard has not only dogged on his festival appearance, but his taxes as well; showing that he hadn’t filed for taxes since 2009 – the year he bought his $US 1.6 million, 2.3-acre property.
It looks like the price of his property is going to cost him more that On top of his NSW court tussle, Mr. ‘Rida is also being slugged by security company ADT, who are taking him to court over a contract signed by a man named Lee Prince – reportedly Flo’s manager – who signed off on a deposit of nearly $US 20,000 for the installation of a state-of-the-art system of sensors, smoke detectors, and 27 security cameras.
ADT is claiming that while the initial deposit was cleared, they have yet to received the remaining amount of $US 38,733 plus interest on unpaid services, bringing the total up to $US 47,134.
Dillard is refusing to pay, claiming that he never authorised the installation and that because the contract is under his manager’s name, the responsibility is not his.
With his $400k Fat As Butter no-show, his home security dispute and his tax-dodging issues, it could be ‘three strikes – you’re out’ for Flo Rida. He better hope he’s still getting steady cash ‘Flo’ from his various hits, or else it looks like Shawty’s funds are going to get low, low, low.