Failed company collapses owing $1.6 million

THE initial liquidator's report into the failed company that ran Wanderlust yoga events in Australia and New Zealand has revealed debts in the order of $1.6 million.

Promoter Yoga Events Australia and New Zealand Pty Ltd has shut down just two months after what had appeared a highly-successful Novotel Twin Waters Wanderlust Festival in November.

Sunshine Coast Council which has sponsored the event for the past three years has expressed surprise and disappointment as news broke of the company's difficulties.

Unsecured creditors were furious to see social media posts by YEANZ Pty Ltd majority shareholder and director John Halstead of his family's Christmas holiday USA snow trip while they remained unpaid.


Wander Lust Festival, Twin Waters. Jonnie Halstead, Wanderlust Australia and New Zealand festival director. 
Photo Patrick Woods / Sunshine Coast Daily
YOGA Events Australia New Zealand Pty Ltd majority shareholder and director John Halstead left unsecured creditors unpaid while he took a family ski trip holiday to the USA over Christmas. Patrick Woods

A council spokesperson said it had been advised by Wanderlust USA that it had understood events on the Sunshine Coast had been successful financially as well for attendees, suppliers, teachers and sponsors.

YEANZ Pty Ltd has run Wanderlust Festivals and Wanderlust 108 events in Australia and New Zealand since 2013 with the council sponsoring three events at Twin Waters up to and including 2017.

"As with all of our event sponsorships, the financial amount is commercial in confidence," a council spokesperson said.

"Initial indications were that the 2017 event was successful in terms of attendance numbers and participant feedback. 

"We are surprised and disappointed to learn of issues regarding payment of suppliers and the subsequent insolvency of the promoter who held the Australian and New Zealand licence for Wanderlust, given the apparent success of the event and the strength of the global Wanderlust brand.

"Whilst council does not have involvement in the individual deals done between the promoter and private suppliers, we have made clear our expectation to the promoter that all local suppliers be paid. 

"We have made contact with the liquidator to ensure that local businesses are looked after and are working to identify and assist local impacted businesses where we can.

"No further comment can be made until the proper process, as stipulated by the appointed liquidator, is finalised."


RETURNING for the third time to the Sunshine Coast, the Wanderlust Festival saw nearly 4000 people take part in the four-day retreat held at Novotel Twin Waters Resort.
WANDERLUST was a feel-good wellness festival that left a trail of unpaid creditors behind when it went into liquidation. WANDERLUST

Tourism and Events Queensland acting chief executive officer Rick Hamilton said it had been disappointed to learn that the company behind the festival has been placed into administration, particularly because, as a tourism event, it was a success.

"TEQ, along with Sunshine Coast Council, was a funding partner for the Wanderlust 2017 event, and will work with the administrators as required," Mr Hamilton said.

"The nature of TEQ's agreement with the Wanderlust event organiser is commercial in confidence, however TEQ is committed to investing in events that deliver a solid return for tax payer funds, and investment is usually tied to marketing initiatives.

"The event organiser is solely responsible for costs incurred during and associated with the operation of the event."

Kimberly Ferguson of Beats Cartel based at Burleigh Heads and the Sunshine Coast revealed she had been left owed $10,600 for signage and promotional material.

Sydney-based hoola hoop company Spin Joy was also left $5611 out of pocket for equipment and classes.

Novotel Twin Waters did not comment on the amount it was owed as event host.