Music festival Supafest collapses with debts of $2 million after P Diddy and Missy Elliott outcry

Hip hop festival Supafest, which was held in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth, has collapsed with administrators appointed to Supafest and Paperchase Touring and Entertainment.

Sule Arnautovic, John Kukulovski and Glenn Crisp of Jirsch Sutherland were appointed as administrators to the troubled festival and promoter last week.

Fans and ticketholders to last year’s Supafest were outraged after P Diddy (aka Sean Combs) and Missy Elliott were promoted as appearing and then pulled from the festival’s line-up.

P Diddy took to Twitter to say he was “mad as f—” about what he said was a breach of contract by Supafest.

“@SupaFest2012 stop playing around and come thru with what you agreed to in the contract!!! Don’t cheat the people givem what dey want,” he tweeted.

Missy Elliott claimed she was falsely advertised as a headliner and had only been in early talks with Supafest about appearing, with no contract to appear.

At the time, Supafest promoter, Paperchase, released a statement saying P Diddy and Missy Elliott’s performances were cancelled due to poor ticket sales.

The festival went ahead featuring Chris Brown, Ice Cube and Kelly Rowland but a subsequent statement from the producers of Supafest said the 2012 event’s ticket sales “look like they will surpass last year’s attendances of 90,000, but in effect these numbers fall well short of the producer’s expectations to ensure commercial viability”.

Now the shareholders of Supafest and Paperchase, along with director Dwayne Cross and founder John Denison, are desperately scrambling to hold Supafest again in April this year.

Denison has revealed plans on Twitter for Supafest to go ahead this year and indicated rapper 50 Cent would be part of the line-up.

Administrator Arnautovic told SmartCompany there was a willingness on behalf of Cross and some creditors to restructure Supafest and Paperchase through a deed of company arrangement and to run the festival again this year.

“First we need to get rid of wind-up applications in various courts to procure support that concerts will go ahead and there is not a lot of time between now and April and we need to get financial resources in place to be able to pay artists,” he says.

“Our priorities are just to defer the wind-up app[lication] to try and save it and to try to give Mr Cross an opportunity to secure support from who he needs to.”

Arnautovic says if Cross is not able to get creditors’ support for the deed of company arrangement then both Supafest and Paperchase will have to be liquidated.

“The creditors understand the high prospect they won’t get a return if the company doesn’t have any concerts,” he says.

Arnautovic says the administrators are still trying to come to grips with what the creditor’s position is and the extent of Supafest and Paperchase’s debts but at this stage it is clear they are in excess of $2 million.

“They have no significant assets apart from the intellectual property assets such as trademarks,” he says.

The collapse of Supafest and Paperchase follows the administration of ES Group last year which was the staging company behind the annual ARIA Awards and music festivals including Good Vibrations, V Festival, Future Musical Festival and Parklife.



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