Following the recent completion of Hits And Pits Festival Round 3, reports have surfaced that Ben Neilson of Collateral Manage, the promoter of Hits And Pits, owes tens of thousands of dollars to the punk festival’s crew and still owes punters refunds from two cancelled tours that he promoted.
According to The Music, multiple sources have alleged Neilson owes them significant amounts of money for their work on the recent tour, while the last few months have seen punters take to social media claiming they have not received refunds for cancelled tours by The Locust and Daughters.
It’s believed the promoter has been using pre-sale ticket revenues and other fundraising methods to pay off existing debts. Though this is common practice in the promotions industry, Neilson reportedly owes more than he has incoming, which is stretching the patience of the Hits And Pits crew.
Neilson has not responded to The Music‘s requests for official comment but had previously assured the outlet that efforts were being made to fulfil the refund obligations, which stem from tours that were cancelled early this year. After he was informed that crew allegations would go public, Neilson reportedly said that today was a “big day” of settling payment with bands and crew members.
Also fuelling concern is a crowdfunding campaign recently launched by Hits And Pits to expand the festival, which Neilson claims was arranged before the latest tour. The campaign has so far raised just over $8,000, with 13 days left to reach its target of $50,000. The promoter has opted for ‘flexible funding’, meaning the campaign receives all funds raised regardless of whether it reaches its goal.
Problems at Collateral Manage were first made apparent when complaints posted to the company’s Facebook page were reportedly subject to routine deletion. “I’m still waiting for a refund for the money he owes me… I’d suggest paying the people you have ripped off,” wrote one angry fan.
Gallery: Hits And Pits 2.0 – The Hi-Fi, Brisbane 16/11/13
Report: Hits & Pits Festival Promoter Owes Thousands To Crew And Fans - Music Feeds
Photos by Charlyn Cameron