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Ownership dispute over postponed SOS 4.8

The government of Murcia has said it will push ahead with the festival against the wishes of promoter Legal Music, which is taking legal action against the "usurpation"

By Jon Chapple on 06 Feb 2017

The xx, Festival SOS 4.8 2013

The xx play SOS 4.8 2013


image © Equipo Helmet for SOS 4.8

Legal Music, promoter of Spanish festival SOS 4.8, has accused the Murcian government of illegally laying claim to the event, of which it is says it is “sole and rightful owner”.

The two parties have been at loggerheads since just before Christmas, when Legal Music announced the 2017 edition of SOS 4.8 would not go ahead following the withdrawal of funding from the Autonomous Community of Murcia (Comunidad Autónoma de la Región de Murcia, Carm), which the promoter accused of violating its sponsorship agreement with the festival.

Carm – which, it emerged, had trademarked the SOS 4.8 name in 2008 without informing Legal Music – responded by saying the festival would go ahead with or without Legal Music’s participation. Murcia will “not yield to any kind of threats” of cancellation from Legal Music, said a spokeswoman for the region, adding that the autonomous community is “the sponsor of SOS 4.8 and the owner of the brand”.

In a statement released this morning, Legal Music says the “attitude of the Ministry [of Culture of Murcia] is irrational and is jeopardising the viability and quality of an internationally successful festival”.

“The attitude of the ministry is jeopardising the viability and quality of an internationally successful festival”

“We want to remember and insist that LegalMusic is the sole and rightful owner of SOS 4.8, and the festival is the main asset of this company,” it says. “Therefore, no one can stage this event without Legal Music.”

SOS 4.8 has grown consistently since its founding in 2008, with Manic Street Preachers and The Libertines headlining the 2016 event.

Legal Music, which was declared insolvent in early January, has now filed a series of lawsuits against Murcia’s Ministry of Culture and portavocía (office of the government’s spokespeople) “in order to defend not only the legitimate interests of Legal Music, but also the general interests of citizens against the arbitrariness of the government”.

Legal Music’s other festivals include Pròxims in Barcelona and Calonge, and the now-defunct Castañas y Buñuelos (‘Chestnuts and Donuts’) in Madrid.

 


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