FLO RIDA has backed up his no-show at Fat As Butter with a no-show in the NSW District Court where he and his agent were ordered to pay festival organisers more than $400,000 in damages.
As well as the $55,000 he accepted to perform a one-hour set on the Newcastle foreshore, Rida and his Australian agent, Darren Ayre, were ordered to pay damages for loss of revenue suffered at last year’s festival as well as losses for poor ticket sales and lost sponsorship for this year’s event, Judge Judith Gibson said.
As well as the upfront payment, festival organiser Mothership Music also recouped almost $7000 they spent on air fares, ‘‘appropriate motor vehicles’’ and hospitality for Flo Rida and his entourage, the court heard.
Fans were outraged last October when they were told that the Florida-based rapper, whose real name is Tramar Dillard, had slept in and not made the trip to Newcastle.
He was contracted to hit the stage at 4pm and perform a one-hour set before 11,000 fans at the Camp Shortland festival.
A number of abusive emails sent to festival organisers were tendered to the court to illustrate the disappointment of the 2000 or so fans who left the venue after Rida’s absence was announced.
‘‘The no-show by Flo Rida damaged the trading reputation of the plaintiff, impacting its ability to stage future events, attract patrons and compete with rivals in the music event industry,’’ Judge Gibson said.
‘‘Sponsors were lost as news of the no-show spread far and wide through the use of social media such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.’’
Rida and his agent were ordered to pay a total of $417,345 including legal costs.
Neither attended court on Friday, but Mothership Music had previously served documents on the rapper via Facebook, the court previously heard.
Festival organisers have contracted US group Good Charlotte and another seven international acts to play at this year’s festival in an effort to boost ticket sales.
Only three international acts were contracted last year.
The drop in ticket sales and sponsorship is likely to result in an annual loss of about $240,000 for the organisers, the court heard.
Rida tweeted numerous times last week from London.