PledgeMusic Winding Up Hearing July 31 in London

Pledge Windup

It appears that PledgeMusic has not planned on going into administration (like reorganization bankruptcy), at least not since June 13, 2019.  Therefore, any statements the company or its representatives have made since that date must be looked at anew.

Because the company had guided all of its potential creditors toward administration, everyone was looking the wrong direction.  I only discovered this petition today by searching The Gazette, which is the official paper of record of the UK government and is used pretty much exclusively for legal notices.

I had not done so previously because I assumed, like everyone else, that Pledge was going into administration.  Because that was what they said they were doing.

But–something in the far recesses said, “Did you check The Gazette?”  “No.  Why would I, they are going into administration.”  Long pause.  “And how do you know that exactly?”  “They…”  “Well, smart boy, what if they…you know…lied.”  “Guess I better check.”  “Guess you better.”

And sure enough, there it was.

The company had been clearly guiding us to believe they were going into administration which would have given artists, fans and vendors at least a chance to be heard on the rather bizarre behavior by the company’s board and officers.  For example, Benji Rogers said that directly in a widely read Medium post under the apparent authority of the company (if you can just cut through the sanctimony):

Benji Statement

But a couple days ago Pledge took the site down (why is much clearer now) and posted this absurd message:

pledge statement

Now if you were thinking “the most appropriate steps” meant administration based on all the other communications from the company and from Benji Rogers on the company’s behalf, no one would fault you for thinking “the most appropriate next steps” meant filing reorganization/administration after weeks of delay–NOT liquidating the company.

And you certainly couldn’t be blamed for not realizing that “the most appropriate next steps” meant “we already filed for liquidation weeks ago suckers!”

UPDATE:  The trade group UK Music sent a representative to the Pledge winding up hearing in London according to MusicWeek:

UK Music attended the hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice today (July 31).

In a letter to Business Minister Kelly Tolhurst, Kiehl said: “Many musicians across the UK relied on crowdfunding website PledgeMusic to deliver payments from patrons, to pay for album recordings and other costs. The winding up of this company represents an entirely unsatisfactory development for the many music fans and creators who have invested so much into projects through this scheme.

“I ask you to again consider the merits of a ministerial referral to the Competition and Markets Authority to investigate what went wrong with this case.

He added: “I would also like to ask you to consider taking up the case with the Financial Conduct Authority, which holds responsibility for regulating certain types of crowdfunding, to consider the activities of PledgeMusic and whether there have been any regulatory breaches.

“Furthermore, I would like to ask for a meeting with you to consider further possible Government interventions to ensure the issues which have arisen from PledgeMusic can never happen again.”