Summerside Still Has Show Hopes

The city of Summerside, Prince Edward Island, paid about $90 for every man, woman and child that lives in the town to host a Michael Jackson tribute concert that never was.

The news came to light as Summerside Mayor Basil Stewart recently defended himself to the CBC against charges he’d misled the public about the failed concert, for which the city paid a $1.3 million advance.

Four days before residents went to the polls in November, Stewart reportedly told them the concert was still on for 2011, even though the town had been trying to get its money back from promoter Katrina Berg Sussmeier since April.

But Stewart is sticking with his story and apparently still thinks the concert could take place.

“Senior management were working and pushing to try to get the concert, and get the dates confirmed and everything else, and they were using that to try to push the issue to get it sorted out,” he told CBC News. “It’s possible it may still happen.”

Summerside recently filed suit against Sussmeier, alleging the promoter and her business partners “fraudulently or negligently induced” the city into paying for the non-existent show.

Stewart says he hopes the courts will return the city’s money or force the promoter to put on the show once and for all.