Pop powerhouse Lizzo has been accused of contributing to the downfall of music festival FOMO and the subsequent $6.2 million owed to creditors.
Pop powerhouse Lizzo has been accused of contributing to the downfall of music festival FOMO and the subsequent $6.2 million owed to creditors.

Pop star and drug death ‘contributed’ to downfall of FOMO

POP powerhouse Lizzo has been accused of contributing to the downfall of music festival FOMO and the subsequent $6.2 million owed to creditors.

FOMO entered liquidation owing hundreds of creditors money.

The Daily Telegraph understands that of the $6.2 million owed, the ATO, Facebook and another performer from the 2020 line-up are owed the greatest amounts.

Lizzo performs at the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles in January. Picture: Kevin Winter/Getty Images for The Recording Academy
Lizzo performs at the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles in January. Picture: Kevin Winter/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

Three-time Grammy winner Lizzo headlined the festival's 2020 dates in January this year, performing at the Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide legs of the four-year-old festival.

But despite her popularity, a report from liquidators Hall and Chadwick state that FOMO director Anand Krishnaswamy claimed Lizzo made multiple breaches of her contract.

"I have been informed by Mr Krishnaswamy that the following reasons pertain to the Company's failure," liquidator Kathleen Vouris wrote.

Reason No. 9 stated: "Breaches of contract by the artist known as Lizzo."

Contract confidentiality agreements restrict public knowledge of the breaches.

Festival goers a the 2019 FOMO Music Festival at Parramatta Park. Picture: David Swift.
Festival goers a the 2019 FOMO Music Festival at Parramatta Park. Picture: David Swift.

Lizzo's management and Mr Krishnaswamy did not respond to requests for comment.

During her Australian visit, the beloved singer and flautist also sold out solo gigs at The Sydney Opera House and The Forum, Melbourne, with tickets snapped up in a matter of minutes.

She won over the hearts of Australians when she turned up for a surprise volunteer shift at Melbourne Foodbank, working on the production line to pack essentials for bushfire affected families.

The drug overdose death of Sydney teenager Alex Ross-King at FOMO in 2019 was also given as a reason for the festival's downfall.

Alex Ross-King, 19, who died of a drug overdose at FOMO 2019. Picture: Instagram
Alex Ross-King, 19, who died of a drug overdose at FOMO 2019. Picture: Instagram

In the list of reasons, Mr Krishnaswamy submitted that Ms Ross-King's death, the subsequent coronial inquest and "pressures" to make their festivals safer also caused the company to fail.

"(Reasons include) Significant state and federal government and health agency pressures to increase safety measures," the report stated.

"Emotional and financial impact of an overdose death of a patron during the FOMO 2019 festival.

"Significant time and resources required to comply with the NSW coronial inquest in 2019."

There was an increased police presence at the festival — as well as costly compliance measures to meet — after the overdose. Picture: David Swift.
There was an increased police presence at the festival — as well as costly compliance measures to meet — after the overdose. Picture: David Swift.

Ms Ross-King was one of six young people who died as a result of taking drugs at NSW music festivals between December 2017 and January 2019, sparking the coronial inquest.

FOMO's woes were close to being dashed when two international buyers made offers for the festival that were greater than the debts owed.

However, the report stated the negotiations were unsuccessful due to the bushfires and COVID-19.

Originally published as Pop star Lizzo 'contributed' to downfall of FOMO music festival


On this day: What was making news on September 19, 1980

Premium Content On this day: What was making news on September 19, 1980

Here's what we were reading in the Guardian 40 years ago

Two years on from double shark attacks

Premium Content Two years on from double shark attacks

Justine Barwick and Hannah Papps survived shark attacks

WATCH: Teen busted 51km over limit on suburban road

Premium Content WATCH: Teen busted 51km over limit on suburban road

Teen fined $1245 and stripped of eight points – but he wasn’t the only one.