Surfrider: Florida Music Festival Promoter Stiffed Us $30,000

surfrider foundation lawsuit.jpg
Surfrider Foundation is suing a Florida party promoter for stiffing the nationally prominent, San Clemente-based environmental group out of at least $30,000.

According to a lawsuit filed in Orange County Superior Court, Scott H. Mitchell--the managing partner of Five Flags Tourism Group--hosted an October 2011, music festival called DeLuna Fest and promised to donate the greater of either $30,000 or $2 per sold ticket in exchange for using the Surfrider name and positive public image to enhance sales.

Surfrider executives planned to use the money to help clean up the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

But Mitchell has not delivered on his promise to make the donation within a month of the three-day Pensacola Beach festival and is now eight months late, according to the lawsuit.

Tickets cost $149 for the entire festival that featured Linkin Park, Jane's Addiction and Weezer.

Marketing for the event celebrated its ties to Surfrider.

Repeated efforts by Surfrider to resolve the dispute prior to litigation failed, according to documents attached to the lawsuit.

Mitchell has not yet filed a legal response to the lawsuit.

The DeLuna Fest is already promoting its 2012 event in September and claims the lineup will include Pearl Jam, Foo Fighters and Joan Jett and the Blackhearts.

The case has been assigned to Superior Court Judge David Chaffee.

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deluna fest is a scam run by a crook... deluna fest 2012 vip was a joke. he robbed good people so he could make a profit! vip holders had less perks than what general admission had... scott mitchell will feel the wrath of everyone he was screwed over.. i hope surf rider gets their money!

Roger E. Butow
Roger E. Butow

Chalynn:       Surfrider has at least one staff attorney, might have more legal as volunteers, so don't cry for them. They're a multi-million $$$ corporation, they have the resources to litigate and do so quite often using their members donations. They then many times settle for grossly obscene amounts  (usually out of court in arbitration, amounts sealed from public records), roll those judgment funds into the next lawsuit. Oh, and to pay their bloated staff salaries & great benefit packages. That's the unfortunate reality of such self-desribed protectionists.  David Brower (Earth Island, Sierra Club, etc.) shortly before he died said that he kept quitting NGOs he'd created or helped launch after about 10 years because by then they'd lost track of, no longer honored or reflected their original mission statement. He said that they eventually succumbed to corporate temptations, existed just to support a massive bureaucracy. Surfrider isn't a virgin---If with all of their savviness they didn't assure payment, hey, caveat emptor. And really, EVERYBODY and Their Mother (every protectionist NGO in America) has crawled all over the Gulf. It's had more than enough volunteer, government and BP (albeit dragged kicking and screaming) cleanup assistance.  Writers like myself have written innumerable columns online to amplify, to educate and support that effort. Surfrider saw a warm & fuzzy fundraising method to make $$$ off of some bands after a tragedy, they got stiffed, better luck next time, read the fine print dudes & dudettes. Certainly when Surfrider gets a settlement they read the minutiae, ditto for this. Roger E. Butow   Clean Water Now! Coalition

Chalynn Marie Peterson
Chalynn Marie Peterson

C'mon's not that hard to keep promises! Surfrider is California's best ocean advocate. They don't have the time or the resources for court actions such as this! As a smalltime local OC event promoter, I am embarrassed. Five Flags will now be a known 'red flag' to musicians and organizations. Death by suicide? 


Just because Surfrider is a multi-million dollar corporation,that doesn't mean that Five Flags shouldn't have to pay them what they promised. It seems to be a recurring pattern that Scott Mitchell likes to make empty promises and doesn't like to pay his bills. When is SRIA going to realize that he is hurting Pensacola Beach more than helping it?

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