NewsWritten by Sarah Bella on July 10, 2013
The director of the collapsed Peats Ridge Music Festival, Matt Grant, has been accused of embezzling $1.3 million dollars and wiping records, with the investigation into the troubled event establishing that $1.4 million in ticket revenue has effectively disappeared.
Grant announced at the beginning of the year that the beloved New Year’s Eve festival would not be returning in 2013/2014 due to the low income generated before it was exposed that Peats Ridge owed a massive $1.2 million to 23 different creditors, including a $95,000 unpaid appearance fee for 2012 headlining act John Butler Trio.
According to TheMusic, an investigation was launched by liquidators Worrells, who have so far only been able to recover $158,975, not even enough to cover the liquidation fees. They’ve established that $1.4 million in ticket revenue is unaccounted for and that emails and files have been deleted from the company computer, with Mal Tulloch of the Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance saying, “There is a litany of illegal behaviour, we believe, by the director.”
Worrells have been hot on the trail of the missing ticket revenue, establishing that third party OzTix deposited the money into the Peats Ridge bank account, which was then changed to a merchant facility and then to another bank account both in the name of The Festival Company Pty Ltd, which is also owned by Matt Grant. Worrells have received no response from The Festival Company Pty Ltd about the whereabouts of the cash.
Worrells’ Christopher Darin has notified the Australian Securities And Investment Commission regarding section 533 of the Corporations Act 2001, which requires liquidators to notify ASIC if there is the suggestion of illegal activity by a director or company representative, but ASIC has advised that they won’t be conducting an investigation. At this stage, most creditors have resigned themselves to the fact that they probably won’t be seeing the money owed to them from Peats Ridge.
Matt Grant was accused of attempting to skip the country with a trip to France earlier in the year but the director has already been, and returned in May. He has now declared himself bankrupt, which means he cannot run a company; however, he can still be employed by one.
So, who’s going to Pyramid or Falls?
(via Tone Deaf)
Gallery: 10 Great Australian Music Festivals That Tried And Failed
RIP Summersault: 1995-1996 - Now here’s a mystery worthy of Steven King. How could a summer touring festival boasting the likes of Foo Fighters, Beastie Boys, Sonic Youth and Rancid crumble? Well, don’t spend too much time tripping on it because that's what happened with Summersault, which never saw the light of day again after 1996.
RIP Livid: 1989-2003 - Livid was once the place to be. Kicking off in Brisbane before even the '90s did, it had a strong hold over a demographic shared only by Big Day Out. It was Livid's decision to branch out nationally which ultimately led to its demise, as Homebake and BDO simply out muscled the Brissy-born event.
RIP Metal For The Brain: 1991-2006 - For 15 years, the Canberra-based Metal For The Brain was the bees knees for Australian metal. Curated by Alchemist, the event hit a few hurdles in its final years, including a skipped year. Ultimately, it was decided that the fear of debt had become too great and organisers bowed out gracefully, unlike some...
RIP Peats Ridge: 2005-2012 - Peats had become one of the most adored live music events in Australia. Putting a strong emphasis on the environment and volunteer work, it was a once-a-year opportunity to get your hippie on and relax. Unfortunately, organisers had the same idea and became a little too relaxed with their coffers, sending the event into the red and leaving many artists out of pocket after its 2012 NYE event
RIP Playground Weekender: 2007-2012 - Many of us have some pretty great, albeit blurry, memories from one Playground Weekender or another. In a time where boutique festivals weren’t taking place every second weekend, it was a much welcome break from the usual festival madness. However the event was struck by crazy flooding, leaving organisers hugely out of pocket and leaving ticket holders battling for refunds.
Cockatoo Island, Sydney harbour
RIP Cockatoo Island/The Great Escape: 2005-2007 - The Great Escape, formerly known as Cockatoo Island Music Festival had everything going for it. A dedicated following, a healthy cross section of pop, hip hop and dance and a cozy spot on the Easter Long Weekend. Then they went and moved the date, resulting in poor ticket sales and the event being cancelled 2 months prior to show time in 2008.
RIP Movement: 2013-2013 - Other than the odd headlining tour, it’s rare that international hip hop acts commit to their tours Down Under, so when a festival claims to be bringing a whole heap of international hip hop acts Down Under it should be a great idea...until 3 weeks prior to show time and the reality that international hip hop acts rarely commit to their tours Down Under sinks in.
RIP Offshore: 1997-2001 - Starting off as a foolproof way to keep the kids busy while they weren’t at the Rip Curl Pro surfing event in Torquay, Victoria, Offshore soon became too big for its own good. A crowd of local residents petitioned until their faces were blue, launching legal battles which lost the event its liquor license in 2001. the festival was simply unable to recover.
RIP Good Vibrations: 2004-2011 - There’s a good chance Good Vibes was one of your first-ever festivals. It was an easy event to appreciate, as the talent booked was usually thoroughly represented on any mainstream radio station, but as organisers soon found out, that's also the expensive type of talent. Citing “competitive demand for artists resulting in higher artist fees, unpredictable weather and a shifting live music market”, the festival took a bow in 2011.
RIP Soundwave Revolution: 2011-2011 - The origins behind Soundwave Revolution are still unclear. Popular belief was that it attempted to bottleneck the market to chock out their new rivals No Sleep Til… That alleged plan may have worked, but when Van Halen pulled out and the festival was canned, we were left with no option but to wait it out until regular Soundwave to get our fix of the heavy stuff.