English rapper Dizzee Rascal faces a mammoth legal bill after losing a court battle over his failure to perform at a 2008 music festival.
The 33-year-old musician, real name Dylan Mills, has been ordered by judges at Britain’s High Court to pay music promoter Daniel Blanche back the $30,700 fee he received for an unfulfilled gig at the 2008 Zoo8 festival, plus legal costs.
According to Britain’s Daily Star newspaper, losing the case could cost Dizzee as much as $670,000.
After the ruling, Blanche told the newspaper: “I’m absolutely delighted. For years artists have had it their own way and virtually done what they liked once they’ve received the promoter’s money.”
Representatives for the “Bonkers” rapper did not respond to a request for comment.
At an earlier hearing at Central London County Court in February, lawyers for the star claimed Blanche had promised to pay his full fee a month in advance of his performance, but Dizzee received the amount in two installments, with the final one only arriving on the day of the gig.
His lawyers said that by then the rapper had already canceled plans to perform, and that the change in payment terms constituted a breach of contract.
Blanche claimed there had been a “formal variation” in the contract to allow for payment in installments.
Wildlife Music Events, the company Blanche set up to run the festival, held in a zoo in Kent, England, went into liquidation in 2009 after it was dubbed “the worst festival ever” by some attendees.
Acts who performed at the festival included Mark Ronson, The Cribs, and Lethal Bizzle.