Harbour Fest treated us to some fine acts, but there were problems all along the way What a three weeks it was. Harbour Fest ended last night the way it started - a near-packed house enthralled by the experience of great performers playing up a storm. It was an achievement shared only by Prince, Santana and the Gipsy Kings. As the Tamar scaffolding comes down, the inquiry into why other acts failed to sell tickets will already be under way. Despite fears of a $100 million loss to taxpayers, three weeks ago InvestHK chief Mike Rowse was hoping for the best. 'This is a great start to a wonderful festival,' he said. It was not to be that simple. Although Prince played to rapturous applause, some of the problems that were to dog the festival throughout were surfacing - basic crowd control, claims that tickets had been given away and difficulties getting drinks. It was the start of a steep learning curve for the American Chamber of Commerce, which had never organised such an event before. AmCham chairman James Thompson was upbeat that first night, pledging the festival would become an annual event. But the government was already distancing itself, describing it as 'one-off'. That was followed by an announcement that there would be an inquiry into the way the festival was organised. Family day saw the Wiggles drawing a small crowd of toddlers and teens, before it was back to serious stuff with opera singer Jose Carreras and 17-year-old prodigy Charlotte Church. But it seemed as though Harbour Fest was jinxed. British fluff rockers Atomic Kitten pulled out because of illness and the event was made free. More than 10,000 tickets were given away and it fell to local starlets Twins and Russian rockers t.A.T.u. to hold the performance together. Then it was boy-band Westlife, followed by Air Supply on one of their many visits, before French flamenco troubadours the Gipsy Kings played what many agreed was the best festival set so far. After a brief lapse into poppy Asian all-stars Seven, Shine, Candy and Gigi, it was back to mega-rock with Latin legend Carlos Santana. And it was left to Canadian grunge godfather Neil Young to set the tone for the last weekend. There is one thing no one can criticise, and that is the performers. Hong Kong was treated to some of the best international musical acts, and those who stayed away missed a treat. Will it happen again? Who knows. But as they say ... the show must go on.