Halifax Recoups Some Concert Cash

An upcoming Metallica concert in Halifax, Nova Scotia, will still proceed following recent protest from the city regarding an unpaid tab of sorts from a pair of failed shows last summer.

The “Rock the Hill” concert is being promoted by MacKay Entertainment, which is owned by Michelle MacKay, wife of Harold MacKay.

His Power Promotional Events went bust last year despite receiving a secret $400,000 cash advance from the city’s former chief administrative officer to help with costs for Black Eyed Peas and Alan Jackson dates.

After PPE went out of business and news of the secret payments was made public, the city was still left on the hook for $359,550. MacKay has since insisted that he’s lived up to his end of the contract with the city.

Some officials, like city revenue manager Jerry Blackwood, apparently see things a little differently.

Blackwood recently sent a letter to MacKay Entertainment alerting Michelle MacKay that the Halifax Regional Municipality wasn’t ready to provide any help with her Metallica show without discussion of the unpaid tab, according to the Chronicle Herald.

“HRM’s position regarding providing services to your concert is firm,” Blackwood wrote. “We will not release any services without an acceptable repayment strategy for the funds owing from the 2010 concerts.”

However, just a little over a week later, it appears both sides had kissed and made up.

During a press conference, Harold MacKay, his attorney David Coles and Halifax’s new CAO Richard Butts announced the Metallica show was “a go” after MacKay wrote the city a check – for part of the outstanding amount.

“Payment of less than $40,000 has been made by Rock the Hill to the city in order to get municipal services,” Coles told CBC News. “Having done this, Mr. MacKay understands any issues between himself and the city are at an end.”

Following the conference, the city said in a statement that it had negotiated a financial settlement with MacKay and would recoup any money spent in providing services for the Metallica show.

“All costs for the provision of municipal services will be fully recovered from the event organizer, as per our normal practice for concerts at the Garrison Grounds,” the statement said. “These services are intended to ensure the safety and security of citizens, concertgoers and visitors to our city for this concert.”