‘Outrageous’: Huka takes issue with Pemby Fest trustee report 

The former Pemberton Music Festival organizer describes points made at June 6 creditor’s meeting as ‘untrue’ and ‘misleading’

click to enlarge FILE PHOTO BY HUKA ENTERTAINMENT - Rainbow Days - The Pemberton Music Festival in happier times.
  • File photo by Huka Entertainment
  • Rainbow Days The Pemberton Music Festival in happier times.

Just ahead of what would have been the weekend of the 2017 Pemberton Music Festival (PMF), its former organizer Huka Entertainment has broken its silence for the first time since the festival was declared bankrupt on May 18.

In a 16-page Statement of Facts sent in to bankruptcy trustee Ernst & Young (EY) on June 23, Huka responded to the trustee’s preliminary report at the creditors’ meeting on June 6 into the collapse of Pemberton Music Festival Limited Partnership, in which it was criticized for its actions and for not communicating well with the trustee.

There have been recriminations and accusations levelled by both sides following the bankruptcy.

In its statement, Huka objects to many of the assertions laid out in the trustee’s preliminary administration report, using the words “untrue” seven times and “misleading” 10 times.

The company describes one point as “true, but omits a key fact,” and another as “beyond misleading,” and “completely untrue and outrageous.”

Huka takes issue with who lost money, and described itself as “conservative and guarded in its financial projections.”

It said it should be included alongside Canadian investors as having lost $47 million over the three years the festival was in operation.

Huka also claims it had secured a Letter of Intent from a “high net worth investor” who was prepared to “immediately provide funds sufficient to allow PMF (20)17 to proceed” and to move the festival’s location in order to reduce costs. It says the Canadian investors appeared to ignore this.

Its final point — in response to EY stating that the trustee (EY) “sought the immediate termination of ticket sales since Huka controlled the PMF website,” was a sense of outrage in that Huka said it was “so unwaveringly opposed to any result that would cause PMF to fail to honour its commitments, that it delivered a letter of resignation to everyone who was present at the vote related to the insolvency… (it) specified Huka was immediately resigning, unless the Canadian Investors agreed to honour PMF’s commitments to ticket holders and artists.”

Huka states that the gravity of this was understood by the Canadian investors as they offered refunds to select ticketholders who purchased festival tickets from Pemberton Meadows Golf Course, which was owned by one of the Canadian investors.

There are many other rebuffs and explanations in the 16-page statement, which can be found along with other documents relating to the case on the Ernst & Young website. All documents relating to the case can be seen at http://bit.ly/2tyCHl8.

In the covering letter by Huka’s Vancouver-based lawyer Jonathan L. Williams, he stated that Huka expected EY to “investigate the facts set out in the… statement to the extent that such facts affect the estate of the bankrupt.”

Contacted by Pique, an RCMP spokesperson said there is currently no investigation regarding PMF’s claim of bankruptcy.

The RCMP would only be alerted if there was some indication of criminality, such as fraud; they would then conduct a review of the available information and determine if an investigation is warranted.

For more information check out the feature “Pemberton Music Festival: The bankruptcy line-up,” which is running in the next issue of Pique Newsmagazine on Thursday, July 13.

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