A brutal legal battle over a $340,000 bar takings debt has culminated in the organisers of the Soundwave music festival having its WA promoters Altered State declared insolvent.
A Federal Court judgment last week granted an application from Soundwave and its boss AJ Maddah to have Altered State, run by brothers Chris and Ken Knight, wound up.
And court documents reveal a rarely seen glimpse behind the curtain of some of Australia's major one-day music events - including how last year's festival featuring Metallica and Blink 182 made almost $1 million profit behind the bar alone.
Soundwave claimed Altered State owed it $340,690.46 under an agreement which would pay Mr Maddah's company 70 per cent of the bar profit from the Claremont Showground.
Altered State paid one instalment of $350,000, but failed to pay another - claiming it was owed almost $500,000 from unpaid expenses and management fees from previous festivals. Federal Court Justice Michael Wigney was amazed at the lack of business records able to be produced by Mr Chris Knight on behalf his company, which has been promoting big music events in Perth for more than a decade.
"Given the size of the events and the amount of revenue generated, it is somewhat surprising that the arrangements between the parties appear, at least on Altered State's version of events, to have been dictated by nothing more than discussions, custom and practice," Justice Wigney wrote. "Counsel for Altered State sought to explain this by the submission: 'That's rock'n'roll'."
Justice Wigney ruled the Knights' company should be declared insolvent.
Mr Chris Knight did not return calls from _The West Australian _, while Sydney-based Mr Maddah also declined to comment.
Soundwave, which began in Perth in 2004, will not return to Perth. Mr Maddah said earlier this year that the 2014 event, held at Arena Joondalup in March, would be WA's last.