PEI’s Promoter Problem

Officials in a city on Canada’s Prince Edward Island are keeping tight-lipped about a more than $1 million payment to a promoter to bring in a concert that never materialized.

The city of Summerside has apparently been itching to bring in a big-name act for several years.

When an opportunity arose to book a concert for July, officials jumped on it, making two direct payments of $600,000 to an undisclosed California promoter and never taking the expenditure to a public vote, according to the local Journal Pioneer.

“Council gave management the authority to go ahead and pursue concerts for the area,” Mayor Basil Stewart told the paper. “They were asked what their estimates were to hold a concert and what dollars it would bring in.”

But July came and went and some officials began to wonder exactly what they’d gotten themselves into.

Councilor Garth Lyle told the Pioneer it’s ironic that the city is currently lacking funds to deal with other issues but “threw away” $1 million for a concert.

“I can’t believe we sent the money down there without putting it in a third-person account, an in-trust account,” he said. “I don’t know what the status is. Hopefully we haven’t lost the money. You can’t just spend a million friggin’ dollars and say nothing about it.”

Stewart appeared more hopeful about the show, adding that the concert plans aren’t dead –– just on hold.

“What I can tell you is under the contract with the promoter we have a non-disclosure agreement and we can’t disclose any names,” he said. “It was previously lined up for this summer, but it looks now like it will either be in the fall or next spring or next summer.”