A con artist claiming to have ties to the management company representing AC/DC has apparently tricked the organizers of Finland's Pori Jazz festival into believing that AC/DC would perform at the event if he was paid an advance fee of 50,000 euros (approximately $49,000).
The following is a translation of an article that originally appeared in the Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat:
Police are looking for a man who claimed to represent the Australian rock group AC/DC and took a large advance payment from the organizers of the Pori Jazz Festival for supposedly booking the band for next year's event.
The agreement was for the band to perform at next summer's festival, but the man who claimed to be their manager disappeared after receiving an advance payment for the booking. Now Pori Jazz, a Finnish travel company, and at least two other bands have submitted a criminal complaint in an attempt to get their money back.
Discussions on booking AC/DC for the summer of 2003 began early this year. "A man introducing himself as manager George Young called and offered Pori Jazz a share of a three-concert tour," says Hannu Hakala, managing director of the Pori Jazz Festival.
The other concerts were supposed to have been in Melbourne and London.
"We were interested because the band is genuinely interested in the Aboriginals of their country, and some of them would have played at the Pori concert. Our part of the deal was to get Sámi (indigenous Lapp) musicians for the concert."
Discussions were held in London, where the manager had an office. The contract was made at an international meeting of festival organizers and agents.
"We knew that AC/DC has a manager by the name of George Young. Two of his younger brothers play in the band, and in the 1960s he had a band of his own called THE EASYBEATS. I remember one of the band's hits very well."
At this year's festival the "manager" was in Pori to look at the location. "The man resembled Young so much that even the manager of Paul Simon was fooled."
The announcement that AC/DC would play at next year's event was to have been made already this past summer. However, the announcement was delayed several times. Hakala began to understand that he had been had when the manager could no longer be reached.
On September 10, Pori Jazz filed a criminal complaint with the Helsinki Criminal Police.
Lasse Åberg of the Helsinki Police says that there is nothing to report so far. "We need more information in order to make international inquiries," he said.
The police suspect that the case could take several years to solve.
Hakala says that Pori Jazz has lost tens of thousands of euros to the suspected con artist.
(Thanks: AC/DC Rising Power)