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Bad Business: SFX Entertainment’s Controversial Ties To CrowdRX

Over a month has passed since EDM conglomerate SFX Entertainment filed for bankruptcy. Even after its wheels have ground to a halt, however, cogs in the company’s machinery continue to come loose and expose the design flaws that led to its inevitable breakdown.
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Over a month has passed since EDM conglomerate SFX Entertainment filed for bankruptcy. Even after its wheels have ground to a halt, however, cogs in the company’s machinery continue to come loose and expose the design flaws that led to its inevitable breakdown.

We Got This Covered broke the details of SFX’s mismanagement of online music marketplace Beatport shortly after the company announced its bankruptcy filing. In the weeks since, it has come to light that the corporation is preparing to auction off Beatport by early May. The news confirms once and for all that the attempts made by SFX board members to navigate the course of a tech firm were patently misguided.

Insiders have known that SFX’s incompetence was by no means limited to any single sector of the global EDM industry, but until now the company has at least succeeded in keeping the details of its other misdeeds out of the public eye. Once again, though, anonymous sources have contacted us to provide firsthand accounts illustrating how one particular SFX board member engaged in underhanded business practices during his foray into the field of event medicine.

Event medicine, as the term refers to onsite medical care providers specialized to large gatherings, evolved parallel to the explosion of electronic music festivals throughout North America. Private EMTs began to develop onsite treatment techniques tailored to the higher frequency of substance abuse at festivals, placing greater emphasis on onsite care – with the ultimate goal of properly treating and releasing patrons back into the festival when possible.

“They used to just bring ambulances to music festivals, and then they would just line them up and take people to the hospital,” the source says. “There was no actual onsite treatment.”

Over the past several years, private medical staffing professionals took out small insurance policies and went to work providing more boutique emergency services for smaller events. As business grew, some would partner with promoters and venues to oversee medical staffing for everything from smaller concerts to massive music gatherings like Electric Daisy Carnival and Coachella.

As companies around the US like Event Medical Staffing Solutions, MedPrep Consulting Group and First Medical Response would incorporate more event medicine practices into their services, their demand garnered the attention of Dr. Andrew Bazos M.D. – a Harvard and Yale-educated orthopedic surgeon who has served on the SFX board of directors since 2012.

“ParaDocs had done a good job with Governors Ball, so SFX contacted them to do Electric Zoo,” the source recalls. “That’s the first time Dr. Bazos had worked with them”

ParaDocs was run by Alex Pollak, who began his career as a paramedic for 911 in the ‘90s before transitioning into private sector work. Dr. Bazos’ own history with onsite medical care dates back to his time as a surgical intern in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, when forming early relationships with venues like Yankee Stadium and Madison Square Gardens would become a boon to his career.

According to the source, there had been confusion among the staff at Electric Zoo as to what Dr. Bazos’ role was, because ParaDocs was overseeing onsite medical care and there had been at least one other physician onsite. They recall:

ParaDocs oversaw the doctors, paramedics and nurses at Electric Zoo. Dr. Bazos recognized that it was a well-run business, and a potentially valuable one, so he started planting the seed for a possible merger.

They say that immediately following Electric Zoo, Dr. Bazos opened a dialogue with Pollak through emails, text messages and personal meetings about acquiring ownership of ParaDocs. At first the conversations were about him joining ParaDocs in return for company equity, but then the discussion turned to Dr. Bazos buying out ParaDocs by leveraging equity in a company he was going found.

The source elaborates, “It switched over to him buying them out and giving Pollak 50% in cash, and then the rest would be in a new company that Bazos would be forming – which he did form – called CrowdRX.”

The source claims to have learned that Pollak helped Bazos with insurance and website logistics for CrowdRX, as well as finding him a lawyer to file for trademark rights. “He helped him because he thought it was all in good faith and Bazos would buy him out for a sizeable percentage in the company,” they say.

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