In the highly competitive world of concert promotions, one thing counts: booking bands.
That competition spilled over into the legal arena last week when the upstart promoters at Ferndales Magic Bag accused long-established Prism Productions of using its superior place in the food chain to quash competition.
In a suit filed in Oakland County Circuit Court last week, Jeremy Habermans Magic Bag accused Prism and its owner, Lee Berry, of using their contacts to "obtain a monopoly over the market for small to medium-sized concert promotion and exhibition in the Metropolitan Detroit area."
"Theres been a string of incidents where Haberman Productions have come to agreement with booking agents to have bands play at Magic Bag, and at some point Prism Productions has interfered," alleges attorney Dan Haberman, who is representing his brothers company in the suit.
Specifically, the suit alleges that Prism violated the Michigan Anti-Trust Reform Act by interfering with booking agreements between Haberman Productions and the booking agents for musical acts Lee "Scratch" Perry, Leftover Salmon, Huffamoose, Burning Spear and Ekoostik Hookah.
"The claims in this suit are nothing short of preposterous," says Berry, whose Prism Productions has been in business for nearly two decades, booking bands at such area venues as the Majestic, Michigan Theater, and the Magic Stick.
Calling the accusations "wild and unfounded," Berry predicted that "once this (lawsuit) runs its course, it will be a very short-lived situation."