On Tuesday the organisers of the impending (and much-hyped) Walcha Freak Show Festival of Motorcycles announced the company had gone into voluntary liquidation.
The inaugural three-day event was scheduled for November 15-17, 2019 and was expected to attract about 3,000 visitors and inject more than $1.7M into local business in the area.
Inside Line Events company director David Rollins said both the event and his company had been forced into voluntary liquidation due to "difficulties maintaining ongoing support from sponsors".
"The organisers are personally and financially devastated by this outcome, having poured considerable money and time into the event," he said.
"I guess the one silver lining in all of this is that in the last nine months Inside Line Events has been promoting the hell out of Walcha, and hopefully that is going to have some lasting beneficial effect for the town which will be something good to come out of this.
in the last nine months Inside Line Events has been promoting the hell out of Walcha and hopefully that is going to have some lasting beneficial effect for the townDavid Rollins
"I'm devastated for the town more than anything - we're really conscious that this was an important thing for Walcha, particularly when the drought has been so bad - this was something positive on the horizon."
However, Mr Rollins said he was unsure when (or if) the more than 1300 ticket holders would receive a refund.
"It's not that simple," he said.
"When you put together something like this, it's a massive undertaking, and there are all sorts of companies involved. Everyone's a creditor to the liquidator, including myself. I line up with everyone else. I went into it with my eyes open, and while this is not anywhere that I hoped to be, you know this is going to affect a lot of people, and I feel devastated for them.
there are people who are going to be affected by this who we've come to respect and enjoyed working with and it is devastating to know that being involved with us is going to hurt themDavid Rollins
"When you stage an event of this magnitude you have to call on a lot of expertise to get something like this across the line and yeah there are people who are going to be affected by this who we've come to respect and enjoyed working with, and it is devastating to know that being involved with us is going to hurt them.
"It's not a good thing in this time when everyone is doing it tough with the drought and fires, we're not the only festival to hit the wall, there seems to be a lot of pain around, and we're just joining the queue, unfortunately."
During his career, David Rollins has written ten crime fiction novels ( creating the larrikin spy character Vin Cooper), a screenplay for a comedy, and worked in publishing and advertising. The sexagenarian initially set up Inside Line Events International to stage a motorcycle time trial in Maleny and a hill climb on the Oxley Highway back in 2016.
"I do have another string to my bow, but I'm definitely out of the event space," he said.
The festival had been planned to incorporate the Harley Davidson Owners Group (HOG) annual fundraising rally.
Keith Waddell, Marketing Manager for Harley-Davidson Australia said the company was working with Inside Line Events on the refund process.
"As a key sponsor of the event, Harley-Davidson Australia is extremely disappointed with this outcome," Mr Waddell said.
Harley-Davidson Australia is extremely disappointed with this outcomeKeith Waddell - Marketing Manager Harley Davidson Australia
"We are committed to delivering the very best experience for our H.O.G members, and we're focused on delivering an alternative event in 2020."
Inside Line Events advised that all ticketing and trade enquiries should be addressed to the appointed liquidator Wexted Pty Ltd, Level 12, 28 O'Connell Street, Sydney NSW 2000, or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org