Halifax's Metallica Concert in Jeopardy as City Threatens to Withhold Services

Halifax's Metallica Concert in Jeopardy as City Threatens to Withhold Services
On July 14, Metallica are set to take the stage at Halifax's Garrison Grounds with support from Coheed and Cambria, Seether, Protest the Hero and Matt Mays. The show surely has Nova Scotian Metallica fans up at night with excitement, but due to a disagreement about owed funds between the promoters and the city of Halifax, the show might not go on.

According to a report from the Chronicle Herald [via Blabbermouth], the city of Halifax is threatening to withhold service by the police and fire departments, along with a permit allowing the sale of concessions, meaning it would most likely be impossible for the event to take place on July 14.

Of course, the threat of withholding funds does not come without good reason. In 2010, former concert promoter Harold MacKay received a $400,000 advance from the city to cover the poor ticket sales for Black Eyed Peas and Alan Jackson shows planned in Halifax. The city claims that Harold still owes them $359,550 from those shows, which were booked with his former company Power Promotional Events.

 The Metallica concert is being booked by MacKay Entertainment Inc., a company helmed by Harold's wife Michelle MacKay.

"My involvement is limited to assisting her and doing some PR work as the press does their usual stuff of trying to drive me out of town," Harold said.

On top of that, Harold insists that he doesn't owe the the municipality any money, as he claims the loan was forgiven.

"The much-talked-about concert funds of $400,000 represented two loans of $200,000 each, and they were repayable grants completely tied to ticket sales," he told the newspaper. "In the first case, repayment terms were set to start at 9,000 tickets sold, however that number was not attained, so the $200,000 amount was forgiven. In the second case, repayment terms were set to start at 10,000 tickets sold, and therefore repayment was made on the nine tickets over, at $50 per ticket."

Still, the city of Halifax insists that a repayment plan must be created if the MacKays want municipal services for the Metallica concert. At that point, they will commit to providing services.

In an email to Harold MacKay, Halifax Regional Municipality revenue manager Jerry Blackwell explained, "Based on the history and resulting public funds owed from the 2010 concerts, our position is that it would have been prudent and practical on your part to consult HRM at the senior management level as to your plans for the Metallica concert. Had HRM been advised upfront in the early days of planning for this concert, you would have known our position and could have made an appropriate business decision at that point in time. Today, the fate of the concert remains in your hands."

As of press time, city councillors have denied the permits required to host the Metallica concert on July 14.