The show will go on at Mission
After the cancellation of this year’s Mission Estate Concert, questions are being asked about its future.
Following Neil Diamond’s recent Parkinson’s diagnosis, event director Garry Craft was on the hunt for a replacement act to headline the annual show, confirming two ‘‘A-list’’ celebrities were being considered before it was officially canned more than a week ago.
Craft said this year’s cancellation would not jeopardise future shows.
‘‘I’ve already commenced discussions with acts for 2018/19 and 19/20, so I’m well underway to have the next two summers secured.’’
The announcement followed ‘‘an exhaustive search’’ for an A-list replacement for Diamond. Craft said he had searched the world over to find a suitable replacement and the decision to cancel was not taken lightly.
The concert was to have been on March 17.
It is not the first time the event has been called off. In 2015, it was cancelled after organisers could not find a ‘‘suitable act’’, and the 2009 show set to feature Lionel Richie was canned due to bad weather.
The two acts considered as replacements for this year’s con- cert could not reschedule on short notice, he said.
‘‘It’s just a matter of pulling it all together – but it was always going to be a pull with the travel componentry. Hawke’s Bay is a long way away from the UK and from North America, where 90 per cent of the artists live.’’
Another issue was artists touring with large production troupes.
‘‘Neil Diamond was 70 people. Another one I was hopeful was going to come together had a touring party of 40 people. So it’s not just a matter of whether the artist is available,’’ Craft said.
Local acts were considered, but fell through as ‘‘the bulk of them were committed and not available’’.
Craft could not provide an exact figure of the total losses from this year’s cancellation, but it was expected to be significant.
He said about $100,000 of losses would be incurred exchanging New Zealand currency back into US dollars for purchases made by the company for ‘‘artist fees, deposits [and] various other charges’’.
A full refund will be issued to each customer’s purchasing credit card. If it is expired or cancelled, ticket purchasers will be contacted for bank transfer details.
‘‘The Mission Concert apologises for any inconvenience this cancellation has caused to its loyal supporters,’’ Craft said.
The stage when the Dixie Chicks played at the Mission Estate Winery in Napier. Left, event director Garry Craft.