The Australian Grand Prix is being sued for $8 million after music artist Robbie Williams was unable to perform following the last-minute cancellation of the 2020 race.
The bookmakers were warned over the radio a day before Williams was scheduled to enter the stage that the entire event would be canceled owing to Covid-19 concerns.
Miley Cyrus and The Veronicas, a British rock band, were scheduled to perform at the 2020 Formula One race in Melbourne, which will take place over four days in March.
The multi-million dollar event is hosted every year in Melbourne’s Albert Park, attracting large audiences, but it has been postponed for the next two years, in 2020 and 2021.
According to The Age, World Tour Melbourne (WTM) argues the abrupt cancellation violated the Australian Grand Prix Corporation’s duties.
According to a petition filed at the Supreme Court last week, the touring agency seeks $7.594 million in costs and $1.128 million in lost revenues.
Williams was paid $1.94 million to conduct the first World Tour Melbourne concert event on March 14, however his show was canceled while supporters waited in line on March 13.
The talent fee for Williams’ performance is included in the price. There is no price stated for Cyrus or the support performers, which include Pete Murray and Seb Fontaine, but The Veronicas, who were scheduled to perform as a support act on March 13, earned $3,125.
The agency listed the costs of venue hire, sound and lighting, publicity, legal fees, and backstage catering as totaling $32,500 in the writ.
World Tour Melbourne stated it was only informed of the cancellation just after midday on March 13 during a teleconference with the Australian Grand Prix and local touring partner Dainty.
According to the agency, the information about race cancellation arrived just one day before the event, and Williams was slated to take the stage.
The corporation was responsible for ‘undertaking and facilitating the organization, conduct, management, and promotion of annual Formula One events at Albert Park,’ according to the writ.
WTM is owned in part by controversial Oscar winner Will Smith, who slapped Oscars host Chris Rock last week in Los Angeles after the comedian made a remark about Smith’s wife Jada Pinkett Smith’s shaved head. Pinkett Smith, who was diagnosed with alopecia in 2019, also has a stake in the company.
Haydn Lane, the Australian Grand Prix Corporation’s general manager of corporate relations and communications, said he would not comment because the matter was before the courts.
Fans who were dissatisfied after missing the pop star’s performance were given a refund of the $99 they paid for tickets.
The 2021 Formula 1 race was also canceled due to persistent logistical challenges created by the pandemic, after it was moved from March to November.
F1 executives asked the Victorian Government if drivers and team members might be quarantined instead of having to spend the necessary two-week period in hotels owing to race scheduling.
“We’re deeply disappointed that for a second consecutive year, both MotoGP and Formula One fans won’t be able to see the world’s best riders and drivers compete at the wonderful Phillip Island and Albert Park Grand Prix Circuits,” AGPC chairman Paul Little said following the race cancellation.
“We appreciate the challenge Australia faces with current international travel restrictions and the importance of vaccinations.”
The Formula One event in 2023 will get off on Thursday in Melbourne, with four Australian artists performing.
Tickets for the much-anticipated event, the first in two years since the epidemic struck, sold out 18 weeks before the race. On Saturday and Sunday, approximately 130,000 racegoers are scheduled to attend.