Bands pull out of La De Da

TALIA SHADWELL
Last updated 05:00 06/12/2013
katchafire
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NO LA DE DA: Katchafire won't play the Martinborough festival.

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Two big Kiwi acts have pulled out of the popular New Year's Eve festival La De Da as their music management threatens to take the festival directors to court.

Katchafire and Kora announced their sudden exits from the Martinborough festival yesterday as creditors circle the indebted organisers.

Much More Music director Peter Campbell confirmed his intentions to withdraw the acts, saying he was considering legal action against La De Da's directors.

La De Da's organisers say the show will go on, and will feature American hip-hop heavyweight A$AP Rocky and Australian electronic act Flume, among others.

Mr Campbell said the relationship between Much More Music and La De Da broke down about five weeks ago.

Kora and Katchafire fans posted messages on La De Da's Facebook page yesterday, asking about possible refunds, and about what went wrong.

Festival organisers issued a statement saying an announcement could be expected soon.

Much More Music's move comes after a Sunday Star-Times investigation last month revealed that La De Da organisers had abandoned one failed company and started another to run the festival, while the original company, Section Zero, was still deeply in debt.

The company that now owns La De Da, Martinborough Experience, is directed by Wellington music promoter Josh Mossman, who founded the festival, and co-director Mark Kneebone, who also runs Auckland's Laneway Festival.

Suppliers to previous years' festivals told the Sunday Star-Times they were owed a total of almost $140,000 by Section Zero, which was placed in liquidation on December 17 last year, after an application by a portable toilet supplier. Inland Revenue and bus and audio suppliers also said they were owed money.

At that time, a La De Da representative said Section Zero's other events and business, as well as an unsettled dispute with a supplier, caused its insolvency.

Mr Campbell would say little about the nature of his dispute with Martinborough Experience, as he said it might yet go to court.

Katchafire and Kora will instead play at New Plymouth's Butlers Reef on New Year's Eve.

TICKET-HOLDERS' RIGHTS?

Katchafire and Kora fans hoping for a refund are likely to be out of luck, Consumer New Zealand has warned.

Depending on what is written in the terms and conditions of sale, ticket-holders have limited opportunities to get their money back. If an event was cancelled and people paid with a credit card, their provider might be able to arrange a charge-back, Consumer NZ claims adviser Maggie Edwards said.

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However, most events covered their right to change an act or go ahead after a performer's cancellation within their terms and conditions.

According to La De Da's ticket-purchasing terms and conditions, the organiser reserves the right to add, withdraw, reschedule or substitute any artist or performer, and to change pricing, show times, door times, seating layouts, venue capacity without notice.

The organisers have said they would make another announcement for festival-goers at midday today.

- The Dominion Post

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