I received word today that Harold MacKay at Power Promotional Events folded today. It was his company that hosted concerts at the Halifax Common over the last few years. Here: Read all about it.
Last year, I wrote a blog post, part of the Things in Halifax That Don’t Make Sense series, in which I discussed how much I dislike the idea of a private company using a public space and accepting public funding, for a private purpose. Specifically, I hated how the Common is used for a private purpose. Because of these concerts, sports teams have lost their playing fields for a time, unfettered use of the Common is compromised, and private companies get to charge admission to what is a public space.
The Common is only about one third the size it used to be, having been whittled away over the years by schools, hospitals, the CBC television building, and other things. These are arguably for the public good, and there’s nothing we can do about the loss of this land; but any future or current attempts to reduce our access to what is left should be resisted.
There have been reports that the attendance at concerts has been grossly inflated. Paul McCartney didn’t have 50000 attendees; they say he only had 25000. Tickets for the Black-Eyed Peas were given away to get people to go. Thousands others stood outside the concert venue, on the street, a short distance away on Citadel Hill, and heard the show for free, and even saw it on the massive screens that were helpfully put up. Why pay $100+ to see something, and be unable to leave once you enter, when you can catch it at no cost and come and go as you please? Why?
This whole thing is a mess. The company is toast, and owes a ton of coin to various creditors, and how many of them will actually see what they’re owed?
I’m all for concerts in the downtown. I just want them to go to the Garrison Grounds, which has been a home to such shows since the 1940’s. They can accommodate 25000 or so folks, which is plenty.
If you want to discuss this further, go ahead. I love a good argument.