Steven Brill, who left the Greater Des Moines radio business in 2011 to promote concerts, has filed for bankruptcy, citing unpaid bills to country music and rock acts such as Adam Lambert, Train and Joan Jett.
Brill and his wife, Deanna, cited assets of $606,821, primarily in their West Des Moines residence and rental and business properties in Indianapolis, Omaha and St. Louis, and debts of $1.3 million in the Chapter 7 filing Tuesday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Iowa in Des Moines.
Most of the debts are business related and include bills due to music acts that performed last year at concerts Brill promoted in Des Moines and Cedar Rapids.
Brill had been program director for Citadel Broadcasting Corp. for three years when he left broadcasting, saying that he wanted to promote concerts for radio stations. His career in the music business spanned three decades.
He also had organized the annual Big Country Bash that Citadel promoted in Des Moines for several years. That concert was cancelled in 2012 after Citadel was sold to Cumulus Media and the new owner could not close on contracts with performers.
Brill then stepped into the void, saying he would organize an event called Country Blast at Water Works Park.
He also organized three businesses: Concerts for Radio Inc., Concerts for Radio LLC and Concert Tours for Radio Inc. Those businesses are longer operating, according to the bankruptcy filing.
Bill said in a 2011 interview with Radio Ink magazine that the companies would promote concerts for radio stations.
“After finishing last year's KGGO Summer Jam & KJJY/KHKI Big Country Bash and generating several hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue for our stations, the idea came to me. I will bring a full-blown concert to other stations, generating six figures in revenue at no cost to the station. All while giving them a show that they can brand as their own,” Brill said in the interview.
Brill had $40,162 in income from Concert Tours for Radio in 2011 and $25,997 in 2012, according to the filing.
Debts listed in the court document include $45,000 to Lambert’s Glambert Inc. and the Creative Artists Agency (CAA) in Nashville, Tenn; $87,500 to the rock group Train and its promotions company; $125,000 to Mark Doolittle and his Red Truck Tickets in West Des Moines; and more than $100,000 to other musical acts and their agents.
Brill also owes police departments in Des Moines and Cedar Rapids for security and traffic control during concerts he promoted in those cities.
Brill now works as director of special events for the Arthritis Foundation in West Des Moines, according to the bankruptcy filing.