John Summit claims Off The Grid Campout threatened to sue him for seven figures. The event’s producer denies that.
John Summit is no stranger to lighthearted controversy, but he usually stops shy of rallying his fan base behind him in a legal battle. The Chicagoan tech house DJ and producer has publicly alleged that the organizers of Southern California festival Off The Grid Campout have threatened to sue him over the likeness of his Off The Grid label parties.
“Getting sued for trademark over my ‘off the grid’ label name by a small promoter even tho it’s a common phrase and I built this brand up 100% myself,” tweeted John Summit (real name John Schuster) on Tuesday. “Fucking sucks when ppl want to screw u over but it’s looking like i’m gonna need to rebrand guys.”
In a tweet reply, he continued: “[I] REFUSE to get threatened for 7+ figures over a LABEL NAME when the entire worth of ON THE GRID has been built up thru people: my team, the artists, and the incredible community we’ve built… in the end the name means nothing, the people is what matters and we ain’t goin’ nowhere.”
Michael Cromie Jr., the producer of Off The Grid Campout, tells a different story. He denies having made any threats, claiming that bullying from Schuster’s fan base has resulted in one of the event brand’s pages being taken down.
On Facebook, Cromie wrote that “there never was a lawsuit or a demand for seven figures,” only a cease and desist that finally elicited a response from John Summit’s team after Cromie tried to contact them for more than a year. “They first asked if we could coexist,” he recounted. “I said no, the damage was already done and I just wanted them to stop using the name.”
“They then asked if I would sell. I said that I had put way too much into it and would only sell if it was life changing money,” his post continued. “They said they weren’t willing to spend that type of money and that was that. Again, no threats or demands of seven figures. If you know me, you know my intentions have been pure from day one. His community is attempting to bully me and already has one of my account taken down.”
The United States Trademark and Patent Office’s records show that Cromie filed the Off The Grid trademark in April 2022, although it notes he has used the name since 2015. Schuster filed twice, both times in May of 2022.
“In February of 2022, we caught wind of John Summit launching his brand, and we reached out immediately,” Cromie told EDM Identity over Messenger. “Over a dozen times. He didn’t respond. At the same time, we hired a lawyer to help file our trademark. We informed John’s team of this. They never responded.” Cromie insists that there is no lawsuit.
Schuster’s breakout track was “Deep End,” which arrived by way of Defected Records in 2020. He launched Off The Grid as a record label in March 2022; its first event took place at Floyd Miami the same month.
A spokesperson on behalf of John Summit has declined EDM Identity’s request for comment. Stay tuned for more on this developing story.