Richard Idell has been representing clients in all business and legal aspects of the presentation of live entertainment performances for music, film and sports for over 35 years. The firm’s experience in transactional live entertainment matters includes representation of presenters, promoters, festival promoters, venue owners, tour organizers, tour promoters, tour presenters, sponsors, artists and service providers, including but not limited to mergers, acquisitions and sale of live entertainment properties. Such transactional matters include venue agreements, tour joint ventures, tour agreements, production agreements, artist agreements and riders, vendor agreements, sponsorship agreements, city, state and federal entitlement issues, trademark, trade dress and other branding issues, copyright issues, alcoholic beverage control issues, food and beverage contracts, merchandising contracts, union issues, performing rights issues, Internet issues, streaming and downloads, advertising, promotion and marketing issues, ticketing issues and event postponement and cancellation issues.
The Idell Firm’s litigation experience involving live entertainment performances is equally extensive including but not limited to litigation concerning contract disputes, venue leases, intellectual property disputes, disputes over venue agreements, defense of injuries and deaths at concerts, insurance disputes, rights clearance disputes, publicity issues, force majeure issues, promotion and advertising issues, entitlement compliance, sound ordinances, environmental issues connected with sound, traffic and other impacts, disputes over artist agreements, co-promotion agreements and other related issues.
Examples of transactional and litigation experience includes the following:
80s and 90s: Counsel for various ice skating tours and shows and sale of same, including Stars on Ice and Christmas on Ice.
1986 to 2005: Defense counsel for promoters and venues regarding personal injury litigation claims arising out of live entertainment performances in the Western United States, including litigation in California, Nevada and Oregon.
1986 to 2006: Counsel to Bill Graham Presents (now part of Live Nation) with representation of various facets of live entertainment events and tours as well as permanent venues such as Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, the Fillmore Auditorium, the Warfield Theater, the Concord Pavillion, various four wall deals, promotions at the Oakland Coliseum and numerous other venues in Nevada, Oregon, Washington and California, including representation for all phases of live entertainment issues.
1986 to 2005: Counsel for Fillmore, Warfield, Shoreline Amphitheater, Concord Pavilion and other Bill Graham Presents’ venues including litigation to force the retrofitting of the Fillmore after the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake forced closure.
1987 to 1989: Litigation counsel for various parties in disputes arising out of the public assemblage and exploitation of the 50th Anniversary of the Opening of the Golden Gate Bridge, including but not limited to concerning various City and County agreements.
1987: Litigation counsel to Bill Graham Presents in construction dispute and warranty contract dispute over the tent roof at the Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, California.
1988 to 1990: Litigation counsel in architectural malpractice suit involving sight lines at venue.
Late 80s through the 90s: Counsel to New Orleans By the Bay food, beer, wine, music and arts festival at Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, California, held over a three day period annually.
1990s: Counsel for nationwide tour of the gold medal winning U.S. Gymnastics team.
1990s: Litigation Counsel regarding environmental matters concerning amphitheater expansion and venue sound, noise and traffic issues including litigation under the California Environmental Quality Act.
1990s: Counsel for Bill Graham Presents in regards local promotion of numerous rock and roll festivals including HORDE Tour, Grateful Dead, G-3 and others. Representation included branding, trademark issues and clearance issues.
1991: Counsel for Bill Graham and later (after his death) the Estate of Bill Graham, in litigation concerning unauthorized use of photographs of Bill Graham in a major national advertising campaign.
1995 to Present: Defense counsel for Americans with Disability Act (“ADA”) claims involving Bay Area venues.
1998: Counsel for the concert presentation of the Amnesty International 50th Anniversary of the Declaration of Human Rights Concert in Bercy, Paris including negotiation of all artist agreements for the cancert’s participants (Page and Plant, Bruce Springsteen, Radiohead, Tracy Chapman, Shania Twain, Peter Gabriel, Alanis Morissette, Axelle Red, Asian Dub Foundation, Youssou, N’Dour, and Orlando Poleo), including but not limited to all legal work for clearances of the DVD.
1998-2000: Representation of various ice skaters and gymnasts including litigation over publicity rights claims.
1998-1999: Counsel to promoter of Michael Flatley’s “Lord of the Dance” produced in Las Vegas at the Hotel New York New York, with a multi-year run; responsible for drafting of artist agreements, venue contract and related agreements.
1998-1999: Counsel to co-presenter of Roller Derby events throughout the U.S.
1998-2000: Counsel for Plaintiff seeking damages for force majeure event involving a fire to a venue on a live entertainment tour.
1999 to Present: Counsel to AMF Entertainment LLC which presented various family entertainment ventures including production of Teatro ZinZanni in Chicago.
1998 to Present: Counsel to the San Francisco Symphony for numerous events and multi-media projects: “S & M” DVD (Symphony and Metallica), Sweeney Todd PBS Production, multi-year multi-media project, Keeping Score, (website, DVD, PBS production), S&M2. Counsel to San Francisco Symphony on trademark matters.
1999 to Present: Counsel to Dansun Productions which produces small scale amphitheater performances in Coventry Grove in Kensington. Counsel for recordings and production of a film on the Heath Brothers (concert and documentary).
2000: Counsel for Bill Graham Presents in litigation dispute over ownership of concert photographs taken over a 20 year period.
2000 to Present: Representation of various entities on ticketing contracts with Ticketmaster and other ticketing purveyors.
2000 to 2004: Litigation counsel to Bill Graham Presents, Inc. and Shoreline Amphitheater Partners in multi-million dollar lease dispute involving the lease with the City of Mountain View to the Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, California.
2001 to Present: Counsel to Broadway San Francisco (“BSF”) in San Francisco for presentation of theatre, Broadway shows and music events. Legal issues include all facets of presentations of live musical theater including contest and sweepstakes matters. BSF operates the Orpheum and Golden Gate Theatres in San Francisco.
2002 to 2005: Counsel to MX Entertainment producer of DVD’s of music events including Reggae on the River, Herbie Hancock, others including contract negotiation, drafting and rights clearance issues.
2002 to Present: Counsel to Bob Barsotti and Black Oak Ranch in Mendocino County for annual music festivals.
2002 to 2007: Counsel to SLO Limited: VIP Ticketing Company which represented the Stones, Bob Dylan, George Michael, the ESPN X games, Barbara Streisand, Genisis, Springsteen and others, sold to Ticketmaster in 2008.
2002 to Present: Member of the Board and counsel to the California Film Institute which presents the Mill Valley Film Festival and owns and operates the Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center in San Rafael. Board President 2004 to 2009.
Early 2000’s to Present: Vice President of the Board and counsel to the Bill Graham Memorial Foundation which presents annual music events each January.
2003: Counsel to co-promoter of Reggae on the River (Humboldt County), a 3-day Reggae Music Festival on co-promotion agreement.
2004 to Present: Counsel to Another Planet Entertainment, LLC which operates the Greek Theatre in Berkeley, Fox Theater in Oakland other venues and and promotes tours, shows, exhibits, festivals and events worldwide, including the Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival in Golden Gate Park presented annually.
2007 to 2012: Counsel to the San Francisco Opera on distribution of film productions of current opera selections including a variety of union issues.
2007 to 2012: Member of Board of Directors of Playground, a nonprofit incubator of playwrights.
2008: Trademark Counsel to the Independent in San Francisco.
2010 to Present: Counsel to numerous wineries regarding events including live music events.
2013 to 2017: Counsel to Latitude 38 Entertainment, LLC which presents the annual BottleRock® Festival in Napa Valley.
2014 to Present: Counsel to Second Octave Entertainment presenting live events at Sonoma Mountain Village venue.
2014: Counsel to landowner developing festival venue site.
2014: Counsel to Entertainment Company producing festivals in New York and California.
2015 to Present: Counsel to Event Planners and Organizers.
2015 to 2017: Member of Board of Directors of the Sonoma Music Festival, a multi-day rock and roll festival in Sonoma, California
2015 to 2016: Member of the Advisory Board of Weill Hall at the Green Music Center
2015 to 2017: Member of the Board of Directors of Sonoma Valley Vintners and Growers Alliance and Chair of Special Committee on regulatory issues such as music events at wineries.
2015 to Present: Author of legislation creating exemption from Tied-House rules for Weill Hall at the Green Music Center and Schroeder Hall and for BottleRock Festival in Napa. Both bills passed and signed by Governor.
2015 to Present: Author of additional legislation re: exemptions from Tied-House rules.
2018 to Present: Intellectual Property Counsel to Grateful Dead Productions.
2018 – 2022: Counsel to parties to dispute over featured musician copyright royalties collected by Sound Exchange.