Small business owners and musicians have been left out of pocket and furious a music event was cancelled days before it was due to start.
Small business owners and musicians have been left out of pocket and furious a music event was cancelled days before it was due to start.

$1.8m owed to dozens as festival cancelled

DOZENS of musicians and business owners across Australia and New Zealand are $1.87 million out of pocket after a major Brisbane event was scrapped days before its launch.

Country music artists including The Smashing Bumpkins and Fanny Lumsden are among 43 creditors owed $1.87 million following the collapse of Hometown Festival.

The festival, slated for the Brisbane Showgrounds on November 23, was cancelled by organisers in a shock move just days before it was due to start.

Hometown Fest Pty Ltd, the company responsible for organising the event, was put in liquidation on December 4, under the control of Pearce and Heers partner Michael Dullaway.

Mr Dullaway investigations have revealed 43 creditors are owed $1.87 million following the collapse of the company.

The largest creditor is CaCo Holdings, which is understood to have lent $1.4 million to Hometown Fest for the event.

One of the biggest hits was to Sunshine Coast small business owner Ryan Anderson, who is owed $97,956 through his entertainment company Anderson Productions.

Mr Anderson was contracted by Hometown Fesitval organisers as an international booking agent.

"I did all the negotiation and locked in all the international acts," he said.

The Canadian-born musician told The Courier-Mail he had no sense the festival was in financial trouble, with organisers sending him overseas to scout talent for next year's event.

"I had no idea up until the last couple of days until it went public," he said.

Mr Anderson said he spent hours away from his young children and family while working on signing music talent.

"The finances will be a massive hit to our business," he said.

"What's more hurtful is the amount of time that people, musicians and vendors put into these things."

He said the cancellation of Hometown Fest would damage the Australian music industry.

The remaining creditors, which include Smashing Bumpkins, Get JackD Media and Fanny Lumsden, were contracted to service the showgrounds music event.

The company lists $19,995 of t-shirts as its only asset.

Hometown Festival was tipped to rival Nashville's epic CMA Music Festival, but organisers cancelled the event just days out from its start, taking to Facebook to blame "a lack of support and unforeseen circumstances".


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