The promoter of the Monster Trucks Extreme tour hit with multiple complaints after its Tauranga show underwhelmed some punters says a Palmerston North show has now been cancelled.
Event promoter Clive Featherby earlier told the Bay of Plenty Times the “whole tour” was cancelled because that is “what most of the Kiwis want”.
However, he later backtracked, telling the Herald two Auckland shows this weekend were still going ahead and only the Palmerston North show was being canned.
Featherby claimed venue operators had pulled their support for the show, rather than his company cancelling the events.
More than 260 complaints were made after Saturday’s sold-out show at Baypark Stadium in Tauranga, some calling for a refund.
The show was marketed as being a huge, not-to-be-missed event with wild flips and tricks but many attendees took to social media to complain of being disappointed and bored, with some leaving early.
The promotion company primarily blamed issues with the venue, including the PA system failing.
Earlier today, Featherby told the Bay of Plenty Times the tour was now returning to Australia.
“We have cancelled the whole tour.”
The show was set to be staged in Auckland for two nights this weekend, then in Palmerston North next weekend.
“We are going home which is what most of the Kiwis want, which is really sad because generations of Kiwi kids will miss out,” he said.
Featherby also apologised for disparaging remarks he made about the venue, Baypark Stadium.
In messages from the Monster Truck Promotions Facebook account, prompted by complaints about the Tauranga show, Featherby blamed the “Kiwi f**kwits that ran the stadium” and labelled Baypark as a “s***hole”.
In a message to a disgruntled punter: “Don’t worry about us f***ing up at Huntley (sic) or any other f***ing Kiwi f***ing s***hole stadium as after we honour this weekend’s shows in Auckland you and all the other venues who have bought tickets can wait at the gate all you like cause you are getting your money back we will take our supposed s*** show home to our sell-out shows that run month after month there to thousands of very happy kids. No wonder virtually nothing comes to your country.”
Featherby said today: “That was taken out of context. I shouldn’t have said the stadium was a s***hole.”
“I’m still devastated by the fact the PA system collapsed on us.
“It’s caused a lot of grief.”
Featherby declined to comment further.
The promotion company previously said no refunds would be given for the Tauranga show as “we have not scammed anyone of their money”.
The full tour cancellation was not reflected on Monster Truck Promotions’ social media pages or ticket purchase websites when viewed by the Bay of Plenty Times after the interview.
Meanwhile, a former Tauranga MP who funded and built Baypark Stadium before selling it to the city for about half his costs said blaming the venue and the people who ran it was unfair.
Bob Clarkson said he was “absolutely stunned” by the promoter’s remarks.
Clarkson said the stadium was fit for purpose as its intended use as a speedway and rugby venue. He believed it was well-run.
In his view, the organisers should have “pulled the plug” if they knew they wouldn’t or couldn’t deliver the full planned show.
The promoters previously said the arena ground was “very wet” and impacted the monster trucks’ ability to perform.
Clarkson said the terracotta speedway track could have been an issue after the recent wet weather. In his view: “they shouldn’t have been running monster trucks on a terracotta track.”
“They should have the experience of knowing where to race and not to race.
“If the event [venue condition] wasn’t suitable, they should’ve pulled the plug.”
Baypark chief executive Chad Hooker said that except for the equipment failure with the PA system, the venue largely operated as expected.
“We have acknowledged and apologised for the impact the lack of PA system had on the event experience, and our team is working to ensure this issue doesn’t occur in future,” Hooker said.
“We are disappointed that the event experience didn’t meet patrons’ expectations and that the promoter has chosen to respond the way he has to their criticism.”
Hooker said the stadium had hosted hundreds of successful events in the past and would continue to do so. Some of these included Nitro Circus, Jet Sprints, D1NZ, and regular speedway meetings.
“While Baypark Stadium was built for speedway 20 years ago and has some limitations, we do believe it was a perfectly suitable venue for the Monster Truck show,” Hooker said.
Refund rights: What ticketholders should know
There have been no complaints to Consumer NZ from anyone seeking refunds from the Monster Trucks Extreme show in Tauranga.
The event’s Australian promoter has since said he is cancelling the rest of the New Zealand tour after hundreds of complaints about the Saturday show. The tour had upcoming tour stops in Palmerston North and Auckland.
Under the Consumer Guarantees Act, ticket holders are entitled to a refund of the ticket price, plus any booking fee and ticket insurance if an event or show is cancelled or postponed.
The Act means promoters, ticket agents, and event organisers must carry out services with reasonable skill and care, including using reasonable care and skill for managing the booking process or organising the event.
If someone does not receive a refund within 45 days and the situation has not been resolved, the matter can be taken to the Disputes Tribunal.
- Additional reporting Rachel Maher, NZ Herald