Hot on the heels of a profile in 5280 magazine, nightclub impresario Regas Christou has made some real news: He's filed suit against Beatport, Brad Roulier, Beta and AM Only. While we haven't had a chance to pore over the entire brief, which was filed yesterday in U.S. District Court, it appears that Christou, through his lawyer, Jeffrey Vail, is demanding a jury trial seeking "damages and injunctive relief for unlawful and anti-competitive practices."
In the filing, Christou levels a host of allegations against Beta, his primary competitor, owned by Brad Roulier, his former talent buyer, as well as Beatport, a company that Roulier co-founded (and Christou allegedly helped stake early on) and AM Only, the New York-based electronic-centric booking agent. Among other infractions, Christou alleges attempted monopolization, conspiracy to monopolize and theft of trade secrets.
In the case, Christou is essentially claiming that Roulier and company attempted to freeze him out of the dance-music business by leveraging Beatport's relationships with artists to negotiate exclusive engagements and thus exclude Christou from booking those same artists.
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While there have been a variety of clubs over the years catering to dance music, until Beta opened in March 2008 (in the former home of Rise), Christou's clubs -- Vinyl, the Church, Two:AM, Funky Buddha and Shelter -- were ground zero for most mainstream dance music in Denver.
During that period, Roulier booked many of the acts for Christou. When he branched out on his own, the suit charges, Roulier took advantage of the knowledge, expertise and relationships he'd developed while in Christou's employ.
There's obviously much more to this story, and we'll be offering periodic updates. In the meantime, you can read yesterday's filing below.