P.E.I.’s New Policy Irks Promoter

A Canadian promoter is criticizing the government of Prince Edward Island again for failing to make the province more concert-friendly.

Officials in the province recently instated a new concert policy for promoters following a September show during the island’s shoulder season that was largely deemed a failure, costing the province $400,000, according to CBC News.

Following the show, promoter David Carver, who brought successful Black Eyed Peas and Aerosmith concerts to the island in 2006 and 2007, respectively, told CBC he attempted to bring Van Halen to P.E.I. in August but the province turned him down.

The new concert policy, developed by the provincial tourism advisory council, aims to provide clearer rules as to who can promote shows on the island and exactly what types of shows will be supported by the province.

“We’ve got to ensure the person has a track record, and this is where financial resources come into play that can handle a concert and that can cash-flow a concert,” tourism council chair Kevin Murphy told CBC.

According to the guidelines, the province will limit its investment in concerts to $200,000 per year for shows expected to draw at least 40 percent tourists, with targeted ticket sales of at least 10,000. Officials won’t support shows that conflict with existing major events on the island.

The council also has a new Jan. 15 deadline for promoters to submit proposals for concerts, which is putting a wrench into a show Carver is looking to book.

The promoter told CBC he recently tried to gauge provincial support for an act he was ready to confirm for a Labor Day show, but officials said he’d have to wait.

“Meantime I’m sitting here with an artist that’s ready to confirm Labor Day weekend, which is a weekend the province and the city want to have an event, and they say, ‘Well, you’ll have to wait until all the proposals come in by Jan. 15,’” he said.

But Tourism Minister Valerie Docherty said the new rules would stand, and that if Carver felt strongly about the act, he was welcome to go ahead without provincial support.

“If Mr. Carver can’t wait but he believes that he had the act for the season, great,” she told CBC. “I think that’s wonderful, and I hope he proceeds with bringing that act here.”