Published February 20, 2018
The 35 million ISK that went missing from the tickets sale of Sigur rós’ Norður og Niður festival were never paid back, prompting a lawsuit that dragged all parties involved to Reykjavík District Court, Fréttablaðið reports.
Breach of contract
According to Harpa Concert Hall’s lawyer Baldvin Björn Haraldsson, the total revenue of the festival ended up being between 80 and 90 million ISK. Almost 40% of this revenue, however, was transferred in a series of small payments to one of the original organisers of musical festival Norður og Niður, Kári Sturluson. Kári, who owns a production company called KS Production slf., got this money from Harpa in the hopes that he would use it to organise the concert.
However, the contract between Sigur rós and Kári was later dissolved due to an alleged breach of confidentiality. As the festival was no longer Kári’s responsibility, he also had no more claims to the financial revenue of the festival. Despite Harpa’s various attempts to get their money back, the 35 million ISK that Kári had initially received was never returned. Harpa had therefore no other choice but to sue Kári and ask that his assets be frozen immediately to provide some sort of insurance.
To pay or not to pay
In court, Harpa’s lawyer insisted the lawsuit hadn’t been issued in order to get compensation for damages, but he also made it clear that the money was never intended to pay Kári’s salary. Those 35 million ISK were simply supposed to go into the financial organisation of the festival. Kári, he added, knew perfectly well that this money had to be returned in the case of a breach of contract.
Sigur rós spokespeople have recently expressed optimism, sure that the money will be soon paid back. Kári’s lawyer’s comments, however, say otherwise: in court, he called the lawsuit insignificant and messy, referring to unspecified claims and misunderstandings in the contract, adding to the doubts that this 35 million will be paid back in the near future.