Hundreds of punters who collectively forked out hundreds of thousands of dollars for tickets for the hyped but stilborn Echo Festival have lost all their money, liquidators have confirmed.
Liquidation of festival organiser McLaren Falls was concluded this week, and the final report prepared by Simon Dalton of Gerry Rea Partners said 242 creditors owed $481,105 from advance ticket sales.
The festival launched with much hype, promising to be "The Glastonbury of the Pacific" with headline acts as The Flaming Lips. But problems booking a venue and what organisers described as "slow ticket sales" saw the plug pulled in November 2015.
The liquidator discovered money raised from ticket sales had been used to make deposit to book music acts and accomodation and the bulk of these payments could not be refunded.
The liquidator was able to recover only $168,140 to satisfy company debts of nearly $1 million. One unnamed secured creditor who claimed $400,000 - likely Kiwibank, based on earlier reports - recovered cents in the dollar and recieved $66,517.
IRD, as a preferential creditor, was paid out the $17,847 it was due for unpaid PAYE and GST.
A ticketing agent had held $30,000 on trust, but the account due was settled of $15,269 after the agent disputed the amount and wanted to set it off against other expenses.
The liquidator declined to referr director Paxton Talbot to other authorities.
"At the conclusion of our investigations we identified no evidence to suggest the director has breached his staturoy duties in respect of this company," the report said.