An interim manager has been appointed to the Otago
Festival of the Arts to sort out the disarray in the
organisation's financial affairs.
Of about 30 local, national and international groups who
performed in the October 5-14 event in Dunedin, some have not
been paid. Festival director Alec Wheeler has resigned.
However, Festival Trust chairman Malcolm Farry said yesterday
all artists would be paid by the end of the year.
Mr Farry yesterday apologised for the delays, saying they had
been caused by poor administration of the event.
''After the festival, we found the paperwork hadn't been put
''The management of financial records was such that it was
impossible to get a clear picture of the festival's affairs.
''We have engaged an acting manager, and working withtrustees
we have managed to reconcile all matters.
''It was absolutely imperative to reach that stage because
without that degree of information, we couldn't do anything.
''Without invoices, reconciliations, contracts or a full list
of creditors, we were unable to make payments.''
Mr Farry declined to comment on Ms Wheeler's management
''The board has signed a confidentiality agreement with
He said Kerry Buchan had been appointed as interim manager to
organise the ''conclusion of all matters relating to the
festival'' and the trust was now in a position to pay
Some had been paid, but since the trust became aware of the
difficulties in late October, no-one else had been paid, he
Mr Farry was unable to say how many acts were still to be
paid, or how much, but it was hoped the numbers would be
known by Monday, he said.
''The important thing is, we have the funds to pay them.
''We sincerely regret the times the artists have had to wait
for their payment, and further regret that it was difficult
to give a clear explanation when we didn't know the answers
A letter of apology would be sent to those who were still to
be paid, he said.
He expected the festival to return.
''The 2012 Festival was well supported by the Dunedin public,
and we look forward to the Festival of 2014.''
Subject to Change band member Robert Craigie said he and his
colleagues were owed a share of about $1500 from their
performance at the Dunedin Public Art Gallery.
The band had invoiced festival organisers, who subsequently
told them their invoice had been processed and was awaiting
However, band members have not received payment. Mr Craigie
said there were other groups - local and international - also
''It's really stink. It makes Dunedin's music and cultural
scene look amateur.
''Aside from that, this is one of my main sources of income.
''I'm starting to feel the pinch now and I'm worrying about
how I'm going to afford to live over the Christmas holidays.
''There's no teaching or concerts at that time of year. It's
quite a lean time for musicians,'' he said.
A source close to the organisation said historically, all
artists were paid before they performed, but this year's acts
''The whole thing has just crumbled.
''Local performers are frustrated they aren't even being
talked to by the organisers,'' Mr Craigie said.