Peats Ridge Going Under, Artists & Crew Remain Unpaid – UPDATED With Matt Grant’s Response

The MEAA (Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance) have released a statement revealing that Peats Ridge have not paid “hundreds of professional musicians, performers and production crew” for their work at the NYE festival.

On January 18, founder and festival director Matt Grant announced on the festival’s website that Peats Ridge Festival had failed to meet the costs of running the event and intended to wind it up. Grant wrote that despite “an incredible 2012 Peats Ridge Festival” it was “with great regret” that Peats Ridge would not return in 2013.

The statement closed with a line advising all creditors to contact and register with an insolvency firm which, according to the MEAA, is a sign that Grant intends to shut up shop without paying the debts owed to “hundreds of professional musicians, performers and production crew” who helped entertain thousands of festivalgoers at the 2012 NYE event.

When Music Feeds spoke to Matt Grant in November 2012, the festival organiser spoke of the ‘immense’ personal toll of organising a festival.

“I’ve been doing it for 9 years and one of the reasons I like organising festivals is because I didn’t want to get bored in my job.”

Grant also touched on what he felt separated Peats Ridge from the flooded Australian music festival market.

“I think there’s really two types of festivals. There’s your one hundred percent straight-focused music festival, of which there are many in Australia, and that’s a really competitive market… Then there’s festivals that have a large arts component, which I think there is less in the market place, which is what Peats is.”

The MEAA wants its members who remain unpaid for their work at Peats Ridge 2012 to contact the Alliance immediately on 1300 656 512 or [email protected]

UPDATE: Matt Grant has just issued a response to the MEAA’s statement, advising that he has been “openly transparent about what is happening” and has “personally communicated with the vast majority of those affected, including the MEAA”. Full statement below.

Matt Grant – Response To MEAA Statement

“I have been in contact with MEAA, and advised them I am working very hard to find a solution. I have been personally contacting all artists and crew who may be affected. The process for payment for artists is a legal one, and the liquidators have been speaking to all creditors to the Festival who have contacted them, as we have instructed all festival suppliers to do from the moment we were advised liquidation was the only option facing the Festival. I have been openly transparent about what is happening and I have personally communicated with the vast majority of those affected including the MEAA.”

“Peats Ridge has been an important platform for emerging artists for the past nine years, and have been one of the few major festivals in Australia who have given opportunities for emerging artists to perform in front of large audiences. I personally am pursuing every avenue to find a solution to the current situation, and am in communication with several parties regarding this.”

MEAA – Alliance Defends Peats Ridge Performers & Workers – Statement:

The Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance, the union for musicians, performers and production employees, has begun a campaign to assist hundreds of people left unpaid after the recent Peats Ridge Festival 2012 held in Glenworth Valley, north of Sydney, over the New Year break.

Despite recently declaring the 2012 Festival a success and the best one to date, last Friday the festival & creative director, Matt Grant, without warning, announced on its website it intends to wind up the company without paying its debts.

The Alliance understands hundreds of professional musicians, performers and production crew have not been paid for their hard work for the festival, entertaining nearly 10,000 people over three days. The Alliance has been advised by festival organisers that the workers and performers will need to register as creditors with a liquidator.

Mal Tulloch, entertainment, crew and sport section director at the Alliance, said: “Hundreds of musicians, artists, performers and crew worked at Peats Ridge over New Year’s Eve. It’s their professional skills, labour and talent that make festivals like Peats Ridge happen. They have to be paid what they are owed, and the Alliance is determined to work with everyone affected to chase unpaid monies.

“People in our industry do these gigs in good faith and always do a fantastic job for the fans and the industry. It is simply not acceptable for them to be left in debt and struggling financially because a particular promoter fails to budget for employment costs as a priority. As their union we will stand with those affected until we get a fair outcome from this debacle.”

The Alliance is asking everyone affected by this issue, whether they are Alliance members or not, to contact the Alliance as soon as possible to get advice and assistance. Ph 1300 656 512 or [email protected]

Peats Ridge Festival – Statement from Festival & Creative Director Matt Grant

“In the wake of what was an incredible 2012 Peats Ridge Festival, it is with great regret that I have to announce that the income from ticket sales and other sources fell below that required to meet the costs of the event. As a result, the Festival’s accountants have advised that the entity that runs the Festival be wound up. We are in discussion with various parties about the future of the Festival and will release information as soon as it becomes available. I would like to thank everybody involved in creating the 2012 Festival and for making such an extraordinary and memorable event possible.” All media Enquiries to Cardinal Spin, tel. 02 8065 7363, email [email protected] Creditors to the event should contact Jirsch Sutherland at GPO Box 4256, Sydney NSW 2001, tel. 02 9236 8333.

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