Posted in Fringe News
One of the largest independent programs and event producers in FRINGE WORLD went bankrupt after the 2018 Festival, leaving a wide array of artists they were working with owed a lot of money. This was a huge disappointment for Fringe and its stakeholders and a devastating result for the Fringe artists affected.
Who are JumpClimb?
JumpClimb were a Perth based private commercial company led by two Directors. The company was behind a range of popular events including the Beauvine Food & Wine Festival, New Kingdom, Midlandia, Beaufort Street Festival, Kegs By the Quay and under the umbrella of the FRINGE WORLD Festival, JumpClimb also produced two independent programs - Noodle Palace at Elizabeth Quay and the Palace Society Program, staged across an array of venues in the Perth CBD.
THE FINANCIAL COLLAPSE OF JUMPCLIMB
Two months after the end of the 2018 season, FRINGE WORLD was informed that JumpClimb was potentially preparing for voluntary administration and that Fringe artists that had presented with them were still owed money.
This was a surprise for all parties as the impression was JumpClimb had a hugely successful season from a commercial point of view with very large drinking crowds in the thousands; the one consistent feature at Noodle Palace both pre and post removal from the Fringe program.
As an independent company and presenter of events, FRINGE WORLD did not have any control or involvement in JumpClimb’s management and/or mismanagement. Artists presenting as part of JumpClimb programs had contracts with JumpClimb and not with FRINGE WORLD.
Independent programs (i.e. JumpClimb) in the Fringe are paid the box office revenue generated through the ticketing system, and the independent program presenter then pay the artists they have independently contracted with. This is similar to the way other ticketing companies operate with their clients.
FRINGE WORLD had paid all 2018 ticketing income owed to JumpClimb in March. JumpClimb did not then use this to pay the money owed to artists.
What did FRINGE WORLD do in response to this situation?
Working closely with legal partner K&L Gates, FRINGE WORLD was swift to implement a range of measures to support the artists affected:
- Finding out exactly who was owed money and how much. It was revealed that close to $200K was owed to artists alongside a large array of other production and event service providers.
- Commencing proceedings to place Noodle Palace Pty. Ltd and JumpClimb Pty. Ltd. into administration. JumpClimb decided to appoint liquidators to all four of their companies before this occurred.
- Advancing $85,000 directly to the artists affected. This sum equates to relevant ticketing fees generated during the Festival. In some instances this allowed for up to 74% of the debt to some artists to be covered.
- Acquiring the debt from artists to alleviate demands on them during the liquidation process. Artists were able to formally assign their claims against JumpClimb to FRINGE WORLD in order to run them as a single claim, alleviating the need for the artists affected to worry about the action as it proceeds during the liquidation process. The majority of artists affected took up this option.
There is no promise that FRINGE WORLD will be successful in efforts to claw back the amounts owed to artists, but any amounts that are recovered will be paid directly to the artists on-top of the $85,000 advanced.
FRINGE WORLD CEO Marcus Canning made a statement on 25 May 2018, “Although we have no legal oblication to address this situation in these ways, we believe strongly it is our duty. One of our core values is ‘Our success is Defined by the Success of our Artists’. Fringe artists being left high and dry due to a badly managed business collapsing is a devastating situation. We are committing these funds and moving to legally represent the interest of affected artists as it’s the ethical thing to do and it’s an expression of our values. This is us putting our money where our mouth is, otherwise it’s lip service.”
What further action will be taken?
FRINGE WORLD is committed to putting measures in place to better inform as well as protect artists that are working with independent companies in Fringe.
For the 2019 Festival we have reviewed and implemented a new box office payment system and associated policies and procedures to make it easier for artists to receive their box office payments direct from FRINGE WORLD.
JumpClimb has been put into liquidation and FRINGE WORLD is one of the largest creditors involved in the liquidation after effectively ‘purchasing’ the debts of affected artists in order to represent their interests with our legal partners. The situation is not yet resolved but FRINGE WORLD with the help of our legal partner K&L Gates are continuing to support artists affected by collapse of JumpClimb.
We will have further updates on this website regarding the JumpClimb issue as they progress.