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Florida Georgia Line sued by Utah music promoter

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Tyler Hubbard of the country pop music duo Florida Georgia Line performs in concert at the York Fair on Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2013, in York, Pa. (Photo by Owen Sweeney/Invision/AP)

By Jessica miller

The Salt Lake Tribune

First published Aug 05 2014 11:02AM
Updated Aug 6, 2014 04:39PM

A Utah company behind Tooele County’s "Country Explosion" has filed a multi-million dollar lawsuit in federal court, arguing that the road show manager for country duo Florida Georgia Line defamed its company and breached their contract.

Country Explosion LLC filed the lawsuit last week in U.S. District Court. They are asking for at least $15 million from Florida Georgia Line and road show manager Troy Johnson.

According to the complaint, Country Explosion LLC gave Johnson a $205,000 check on July 20, but told Johnson not to cash the check until three days later.

"It was also explained that the reason for the delay was that the check would be covered by box office receipts that would clear within the next 72 hours," attorney David Drake wrote in the complaint.

Johnson agreed to wait the three days, according to the lawsuit, but he then cashed the check the next day. This breached the oral agreement the two parties made, Drake argued.

"As if adding insult to injury, on July 22, 2014, Johnson announced by email to the William Morris Agency Nashville and to other artists and booking agencies in Nashville, that the check had bounced, making Country [Explosion] absolutely toxic among the artists and booking agencies in Nashville," the lawsuit reads. "This has also had repercussions in the entertainment industry around the whole country."

Since the July 22 email, Country Explosion LLC said they have not been able to book other artists. The company believes Johnson should be responsible to pay for their lost business.

The company also alleges that Johnson and Florida Georgia Line "intentionally misrepresented" that the check had bounced, knowing that the company is already working to book acts for next summer’s festival.

Representatives of Florida Georgia Line did not return messages seeking comment. Florida Georgia Line is known for the hit songs "Dirt" and "Round Here."

The Country Explosion music festival was held at the Desert Peak Complex on July 17-20. The line-up included country acts Rascal Flatts, Reba McEntire, Toby Keith and Florida Georgia Line.

Along with at least $15 million, Country Explosion LLC is also asking for additional money if the company goes out of business, and for the defendants to notify everyone they told about the bounced check that their statements "were incorrect."

jmiller@sltrib.com

Twitter: @jm_miller

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