Dance party gets green light despite being in red

Waikato Times, 28 June 2001

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New Zealand's largest dance party will go ahead this year despite being $300,000 in debt.

Gathering organiser Murray Kingi said creditors had resolved to let the company try to trade its way out of the red. Contractors, performers and crew from last year's event were left out of pocket after a discrepancy in ticket sale numbers.

Mr Kingi blamed the crisis on a misunderstanding with ticketing agency Online Reservations which led him to believe more tickets had been sold than actually were. He was in the middle of taking civil action against the agency, he said.

Estimated numbers ranged between 9000 and 12,000 at last year's event, bringing about $2 million into the Nelson economy.

The support of creditors in allowing the dance party to go ahead had been "brilliant", Mr Kingi said.

Creditors were owed amounts ranging from $200 to $20,000 but "probably only about 1 per cent said no" to the proposal to let the company keep trading.

Nelson's Hirequip manager, Trevor Tuffnell, said he was comfortable about being a Gathering creditor and would be happy to discuss contracts for this year's event with Mr Kingi. "The Gathering is a good thing for Nelson and Murray Kingi is a nice guy who is making a genuine attempt to trade his way out."

Tickets to this year's three-day Gathering, which is to be held at the same Cobb Valley site as last year, are to go on sale on the company's website from Sunday. Unlike last year, when tickets were available only through the company's website, stores and retailers throughout the country will be able to sell them this year.

An extensive television, radio and poster advertising campaign is also to be launched by organisers, who aim to attract about 12,500 people.

Mr Kingi said a maximum of 15,000 tickets would be printed. -- NZPA

Waikato Times, 28 June 2001

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