Phat cat is back in the black

STACEY KNOTT
Last updated 07:55 26/02/2014
Dave White with Partner Tess Siggelkow
MARTIN DE RUYTER/FAIRFAX NZ
PARTY PEOPLE: Dave White with partner Tess Siggelkow who are launcing new events company LVE2DANCE.

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After declaring bankruptcy three years ago, Nelson events promoter Dave White is back in business.

Mr White has been a controversial figure in events management in Nelson over the last 15 years, he was the manager of community centre the Artery on New Street until it closed its doors in 2002, he then went on to open music venue and bar the Phat Club on Bridge St and ran outdoor raves through the region under the name Phat Festivals.

However, business came to a halt for Mr White in February 2011 when he was declared bankrupt, he liquidated his Phat Club on Bridge St as well as Phat Festivals as his outdoor events were running at a loss especially the New Years festival Phat 11, where ticket sales dropped drastically which he put down to the Christchurch earthquake.

Mr White was cleared of his bankruptcy earlier this month and said he is now ready to take another swing at putting on events.

Next Friday will see him launch his new not-for-profit company LVE2DANCE.

With his partner Tess Siggelkow the couple aim to put on an event each month at venues around the region.

Mr White said he had learned from his mistakes in past ventures.

He said he would now focus on quality over quantity.

Mr White did not want to own or lease another venue again, and he wanted to be able to give teenagers a chance to see live music as he felt there was a lack of options for them in Nelson.

"We'll bring a range of music that's not really available, there's been a few people trying to do things over the last few years, but I think there's been a lack of new stuff coming through. People stuck to the same old bands always playing, which is why I lost money I guess, too many risks."

He said he had been through a "few waves of fresh starts" working in the entertainment industry, but was most excited about this new venture.

"I was after a total fresh start when the Artery died, it was a huge grieving process as well. To move on to something completely new is the best way to solve that, looking forward to the future rather than looking at the past."

When his companies the Phat Club and Phat Festivals folded in 2011, he said the money he had was split between the unsecured creditors, "there was not a lot but they got something, except the bank and the tax department," he said.

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He said there were about 23 creditors the companies had owned money to when they folded, including companies on the West Coast, which supplied him with equipment for his outdoor events. There were also loans from individuals.

Mr White had been chased by some of the creditors up until last year, but he said many of them, including bands and overseas promoters were happy to see he was back in business.

"My crew is still completely intact, they always loved what we did and they didn't do it for the money."

Since his bankruptcy, Mr White had been involved with roller derby, did seasonal work and acted as a voluntary adviser and organiser for the Happy collective which put on about six music events over 2012 and 2013, including the recent New Years' Eve party Happy Nu Yeah up the Maitai Valley.

The launch event for LVE2DANCE would be at Club Paradox - which used to be Mr White's Phat Club.

He had organised a few events at the venue since it was taken over by Gail Little in 2012.

- © Fairfax NZ News

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