Gathering boss needs to gather funds

Evening Post, 5 February 2001

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Gathering organiser Murray Kingi is desperately trying to save his New Year's Eve dance party after a mix-up over ticket sales which has put him in a financial crisis.

Mr Kingi said on Saturday that he owed about $200,000 to contractors, performers and crew members who helped run the 72-hour Upper Takaka rave. He blamed the crisis on a misunderstanding with the Gathering's ticketing agent, Wellington-based Online Reservations.

He said the misunderstanding led him to believe he'd sold more tickets than he actually had.

Online Reservations chief executive Teva Loos said Mr Kingi hadn't contacted him about his concerns.

He declined to comment further until he'd spoken with Mr Kingi.

Mr Kingi said some of the debtors had threatened legal action which could force the Gathering, the country's largest dance party and a huge money-spinner for the Nelson region, into liquidation.

Mr Kingi said he was determined to repay his debtors, who are owed anything up to $30,000 each, and urged them to stand by him. "Don't panic, I'm trying my best."

Many contractors had been paid, including one of two security teams and a special-effects supplier.

He said none of the five Gatherings had made a profit and a lawsuit would leave debtors with a "pittance" and him bankrupt. - NZPA

Evening Post, 5 February 2001

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