Everyman's Shaw 'did right thing'

Everyman Records owner Greg Shaw has "done the right thing", paying the Off Broadway Performing Arts School for ticket sales lost when the company folded.

The company went into liquidation on Monday afternoon, closing its Hardy St store. For Off Broadway, it meant the loss of $1800 for 90 ticket sales to its four performances of the musical Next of Normal, starting tonight at the Suter Theatre.

Now Off Broadway director Tami Mansfield has received $1800, which Shaw has paid into her account. "I see it as the right thing, he did the right thing," said Mansfield.

The money would pay for the royalty for the show and the script hire, which totalled about $1800.

She has also been paid $200 for 10 tickets sold after the liquidation. The payment came through liquidator Geoff Falloon, she said.

Further ticket sales would go toward production costs and acknowledging the show's crew, she said.

So far 40 of the 159 seats for tonight's show have sold and Mansfield said: "We're relying on Nelson to help us fill up the seats."

She hoped Shaw would come to the show. "I just feel compassion for Greg and I genuinely wish him the best and I wish he would come and see the show. It is about this very thing, we all have problems and have to be there for each other."

The liquidator's first report into the company's financial position is expected to be released next week. Everyman Records' debts include $265,000 to the Nelson City Council for ticket sales to events.

The debt grew to $288,245 last year, made up of $204,014 in ticket sales for the 2012 Nelson Arts Festival, $71,205 for the 2013 Opera in the Park, $7416 for last year's Buskers event and $5167 for the previous year.

After weekly payments of $700, the debt is now at $265,506.

Council community services chairman Pete Rainey said he was unaware of the exact arrangement the council had with Everyman Records, and that it was a matter between Shaw and council staff involved in running the events.

He said the situation where sums of money were "sat on" over a period happened not only with the council but a range of events that entered into arrangements with Everyman.

"That's small town stuff.

"What we have is a small town growing up, more events happening, bigger money and the need for a more stringent ticketing system.

"To a certain degree Greg has been a casualty of that change from a handshake scenario to a modern ticket system.

"I am not condoning what has happened because I find it appalling, but it is just something that has happened."

His personal view was that as council venues, such as the Trafalgar Centre, came back on stream, the council needed to become more professional and enter into arrangements with bigger professional ticketing agencies.

"My own feeling about Everyman is I am sad one of the last retailers of recorded music has closed down. It truly is the end of an era, it was a very special store. It's not just to do with the retailer but his passion for music and passion for events. It's sad because nobody is going to step in to replace it."

Shaw stood for the city council in the 2010 elections, gaining 3938 votes but missing out on a seat. He has not returned calls.

Tomorrow's Weekend section: Nick Ward laments the end of Everyman Records.