Concert promoter agrees to pay HRM thousands

Concert promoter Harold MacKay has agreed to pay thousands of dollars to the Halifax Regional Municipality, CBC News has learned.

Payment was 'less than $40,000': lawyer

Concert promoter Harold MacKay has agreed to pay thousands of dollars to the Halifax Regional Municipality, CBC News has learned.

The city had been trying to recover approximately $359,550 — a portion of a $400,000 advance issued to MacKay's former company for the Black Eyed Peas and Alan Jackson concerts.

Tickets sales for the concerts were poor and the municipality ended up losing the money.

Sources told CBC News the city told MacKay that if he paid a settlement of $40,000, it would not withhold municipal services for the Metallica concert next month. The July 14 concert is being put on by MacKay Entertainment Inc., run by MacKay's wife.

MacKay has steadfastly insisted that based on the contract he had with the municipality, he doesn't owe any money because he followed the terms of the contract by paying the rental fee for the park and repaying $450 based on the formula for ticket sales.

On Tuesday, MacKay called the city and said he was ready to settle, according to sources.

David Coles, MacKay's lawyer, told CBC News on Wednesday that his client considers the dispute resolved.

"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."

On Tuesday, MacKay and Richard Butts, the municipality's chief administrative officer, announced the Metallica concert would go ahead with no strings attached. But no one wanted to discuss the details of the deal.

When asked to comment on the settlement, MacKay told CBC News in an email on Wednesday that he had said all he was willing to say on the subject.

"The issue which I was involved with last year got entangled with what was happening with Rock the Hill 2011. It has been resolved and the city agreed to give Rock the Hill 2011 the services required," MacKay wrote.

"Let’s pump it up and really rock the hill with a great Halifax event for all concert goers."

Although Halifax Regional Municipality officials declined to comment on the story on Wednesday, they confirmed there are ongoing discussions about how to recover the rest of the money.

Some of the options include going after Trade Centre Ltd. — which wrote the cheques to the promoter — and through insurance.