Cancelled festival: Tshwane no closer to getting cash back
MONEY from the Tshwane purse spent on the cancelled TribeOne Dinokeng music festival appears to be nowhere near being reimbursed.
City of Tshwane spokesman Lindela Mashigo said the metro was still consulting with its legal team and would pronounce on the course of action “at the appropriate time”.
Organisers of the music spectacular – led by Sony Music Entertainment Africa – that was to take place on undeveloped land outside Cullinan in September pulled the plug, claiming the council had not met the infrastructure-development deadlines in time.
This was denied by the City of Tshwane, which claimed the organisers had run into financial difficulties and did not sell as many tickets as they had hoped.
The festival, billed as Africa’s biggest music event yet, was to be headlined by hip-hop star Nicki Minaj, with performances by 150 other musicians from all over the world, and was to be held over three days in the style of England’s Glastonbury Festival.
Tshwane also argued that the organisers had chosen an open space that had no infrastructure for the venue and asked the city to develop roads, install water supply and elec- tricity, and prepare the stage area, all of which it had delivered on time.
Tshwane entered into a three-year R70 million contract with the organisers. The city had paid R25m for the festival. It is the R25m and possibly other related costs and damages that the city vowed to recoup from the organisers.
The money was used to secure artists, including a non-refundable R10m to Minaj, as well as marketing and promotions. However, it later emerged that just 4 000 of the estimated 100 000 tickets were sold.
The city had budgeted R40m for infrastructure development in the area, but last month various departments that were involved in the event indicated in their final report that there was a saving of about R22m.
After the event organisers sent a notification letter to cancel the event, the city challenged the decision in the high court in Pretoria in an attempt to keep the festival alive.
The city said it attempted to meet with the event organisers in a lastditch attempt to save the festival and suggested ways to salvage the event, including a change of venue to Loftus Versfeld or changing the date to early next year.
After the efforts came to nil, the court action followed, but the matter did not make it onto the roll.