Helsingin Sanomat 11.8.2010

Vocal duo Kuunkuiskaajat file bankruptcy petition against Kaustinen Folk Music Festival

The financial problems of the foundation behind the annual Kaustinen Folk Music Festival continue to make headlines.

On Tueday, the Finnish Broadcasting Corporation YLE’s news in Central Ostrobothnia reported that the vocal duo Kuunkuiskaajat (“Moonwhispers”) has filed an involuntary bankruptcy petition against the foundation.

Kuunkuiskaajat, the folk-pop act that represented Finland at the Eurovision Song Contest in Oslo earlier this year, claims that the foundation owes them EUR 11,000 for work the duo did for the festival over a period of six months in 2009.

The petition for bankruptcy was actually filed by Toivemusiikki Susan, a firm owned by Susan Aho, one of the two singers.

”The question is not about wanting the festival to go bust, but we want to have the salary of six months that they owe us”, Aho comments to Helsingin Sanomat.”Our lawyer advised us to file a bankruptcy petition, as we would finally want to have the remuneration for our work. This also concerns other musicians”, says Aho.

In addition to its performance at the Kaustinen Folk Music Festival itself, Kuunkuiskaajat had a number of promotional gigs for the festival in 2009.

Kimmo Pajukangas, the representative of the Kaustinen Folk Music Festival Foundation, says that at present they are unable to pay their old bills, even though they could afford to settle some smaller outstanding payments.

”We have filed a petition for business restructuring, and according to a court decision no old debts can be paid for the time being as we must not treat our creditors inequitably”, Pajukangas reported on Tuesday.
According to Pajukangas, all bills relating to this year’s festival have been settled. The outstanding compensation owed to Kuunkuiskaajat is one of their smallest debts, Pajukangas says.
”Among the largest creditors are for example the tax authorities”, Pajukangas adds.
The Central Ostrobothnia District Court decided on Tuesday to transfer the bankruptcy petition to be handled by the Ostrobothnia District Court, reported judge Johan Karlais.
”The petition for business restructuring was handled by the Ostrobothnia District Court, and according to the law, the bankruptcy petition will have to be handled at the same court”, Karlais noted.
In fact, the District Court rejected the petition for business restructuring in May, but the foundation of the Kaustinen Folk Music Festival has appealed against the decision to the Court of Appeal.

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