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Closure of Folk Festivals

Rob Naylor 04 May 18 - 06:27 AM
Howard Jones 04 May 18 - 03:06 AM
GUEST,Morris-ey 03 May 18 - 11:51 AM
The Sandman 03 May 18 - 04:59 AM
Nigel Parsons 03 May 18 - 03:40 AM
Howard Jones 02 May 18 - 07:18 AM
The Sandman 01 May 18 - 08:42 AM
The Sandman 01 May 18 - 08:38 AM
Howard Jones 01 May 18 - 07:08 AM
David Carter (UK) 01 May 18 - 05:52 AM
GUEST,kenny 01 May 18 - 05:02 AM
The Sandman 01 May 18 - 03:50 AM
The Sandman 01 May 18 - 03:40 AM
Mr Red 01 May 18 - 03:23 AM
Backwoodsman 30 Apr 18 - 04:36 PM
Steve Gardham 30 Apr 18 - 03:56 PM
David Carter (UK) 30 Apr 18 - 09:18 AM
GUEST 30 Apr 18 - 08:51 AM
Johnny J 30 Apr 18 - 08:33 AM
John MacKenzie 30 Apr 18 - 08:07 AM
henryclem 30 Apr 18 - 06:15 AM
Howard Jones 30 Apr 18 - 05:08 AM
Dave the Gnome 30 Apr 18 - 03:58 AM
r.padgett 30 Apr 18 - 02:54 AM
GUEST,Observer 30 Apr 18 - 02:51 AM
Andy7 29 Apr 18 - 08:02 PM
David Carter (UK) 29 Apr 18 - 04:00 PM
The Sandman 29 Apr 18 - 03:23 PM
GUEST 29 Apr 18 - 01:11 PM
Dave the Gnome 29 Apr 18 - 01:06 PM
Howard Jones 29 Apr 18 - 12:56 PM
The Sandman 29 Apr 18 - 10:18 AM
Johnny J 29 Apr 18 - 08:16 AM
Howard Jones 29 Apr 18 - 07:44 AM
Dave the Gnome 29 Apr 18 - 06:45 AM
GUEST,Guest 29 Apr 18 - 06:24 AM
GUEST,Derek Schofield 29 Apr 18 - 06:18 AM
GUEST,JHW 29 Apr 18 - 05:51 AM
Dave the Gnome 29 Apr 18 - 05:34 AM
Mr Red 29 Apr 18 - 04:18 AM
The Sandman 28 Apr 18 - 02:22 PM
The Sandman 28 Apr 18 - 02:15 PM
punkfolkrocker 28 Apr 18 - 02:07 PM
punkfolkrocker 28 Apr 18 - 01:53 PM
The Sandman 28 Apr 18 - 01:52 PM
The Sandman 28 Apr 18 - 01:44 PM
GUEST,Morris-ey 28 Apr 18 - 01:13 PM
GUEST,kenny 28 Apr 18 - 11:16 AM
GUEST,Peter 28 Apr 18 - 10:15 AM
Rob Naylor 28 Apr 18 - 09:55 AM
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Subject: RE: Closure of Folk Festivals
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 04 May 18 - 06:27 AM

Howard Jones: However it is not necessarily unlawful or immoral to trade whilst in debt, if there is a reasonable expectation that the income will be generated in due course to meet those debts. This is how a great many businesses are funded, especially where the income is largely generated some time after costs have been incurred.

Yes, that's exactly how a lot of businesses operate. When I ran my own business, I had to operate that way for quite a while before I was able to build up a sufficient financial cushion. I was buying air tickets, hardware, software, paying for hotels and other transport for my staff, and paying my staff and consultants monthly (30 days after invoicing for the consultants). Clients (often FTSE 100 listed companies) rarely paid me on 30 days....most strung out payments to at least 60, and in some cases longer, which meant I was continually in actual debt, though with a "reasonable expectation" that the income would appear later. In fact, several years later I was forced to liquidate the business after a large client suddenly went bust owing me several hundred thousand pounds, which I had "reasonably expected" would be forthcoming.


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Subject: RE: Closure of Folk Festivals
From: Howard Jones
Date: 04 May 18 - 03:06 AM

Dick, it is entirely relevant whether festival directors are unpaid. You started this discussion by asking about festival failures "is this the result of business entrepreneurs trying to make a quick buck?" This is your usual trick, you start a thread by making a provocative statement framed as a question, and when it is disputed you deny that you meant any such thing.

If the directors were unpaid volunteers then there is no question of them making any bucks, quick or slow, and any mistakes which may have been made cannot be blamed on personal greed. Legally they are not personally responsible for the debts and, in my opinion anyway, being volunteers with no financial interest also means they do not have a moral responsibility.

This is meant to be about festivals in general but it keeps coming back to Beverley. If the directors were trading unlawfully, that will no doubt emerge during the administration. However it is not necessarily unlawful or immoral to trade whilst in debt, if there is a reasonable expectation that the income will be generated in due course to meet those debts. This is how a great many businesses are funded, especially where the income is largely generated some time after costs have been incurred. We don't yet know if the directors at Beverley were acting reasonably when they believed that they would get the funding which has now been withdrawn, but no doubt that too will emerge in time.


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Subject: RE: Closure of Folk Festivals
From: GUEST,Morris-ey
Date: 03 May 18 - 11:51 AM

Semantics are crucially important in matters of Law.

Many festivals, as not-for-profit organisations, are Companies Limited by Guarantee.

The Directors are, generally, unpaid and gain no personal finacial advantage if the Festval is a huge success. Equally, they are protected from personal ruin if things go tits up.

If the powers that be determine these Directors have behaved fraudently (in a legal sense, not a moral sense) then they might be held personally liable.

I doubt either of the examples you quote fall into that category.


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Subject: RE: Closure of Folk Festivals
From: The Sandman
Date: 03 May 18 - 04:59 AM

Howrd, every festival has a CEO, the person or persons that made various financial decisions to continue when they should not have done or should have continued as an amateur [non paid enthusiasts]singers based festival.,
NOT TO BECONFUSED WITH Volunteers who assist in importasnt and necessary jobs ,but have no say in financial direction.
Howard please stop these semantics, you know very well that somebody made a decision , the Ceo may be no paid or may be paid it is irrelevant , they made a bad financial decision


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Subject: RE: Closure of Folk Festivals
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 03 May 18 - 03:40 AM

And, just to correct a couple of earlier posts, without naming names.
HMRC do not get "first dibs" on any remaining funds. This has not been the case since 2002.
HMRC are now grouped with all other 'unsecured creditors'.
For fuller details see 'Begbies Traynor' - Who gets paid first?


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Subject: RE: Closure of Folk Festivals
From: Howard Jones
Date: 02 May 18 - 07:18 AM

I am referring to the original announcement issued by the festival that it would not be going ahead.

Beverley Festival cancelled

This clearly states that the directors are volunteers.


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Subject: RE: Closure of Folk Festivals
From: The Sandman
Date: 01 May 18 - 08:42 AM

here is my original statement, at no point do I or mention that directors were volunteers, or are you referring to some other statement made by someone else on a different thread, if so, Howard,pleasec make that clear
,.Subject: Closure of Folk Festivals
From: The Sandman - PM
Date: 25 Apr 18 - 05:01 AM

Beverley has closed and Alcester has closed.
The closure of Beverley is reminiscent of the closure of Pickering a few years ago, is this the result of business entrepreneurs trying to make a quick buck?
Perhaps, the UK Folk Revival, needs to give more support and realise the importance of the enthusiast who runs the weekly guest folk club, who is running a community based operation.
And at the same time be more wary of trusting entrepreneurs who take over what had previously been an established well run Festival,I suspect many unfortunate people had been duped not realising the management had changed at Beverley Folk Festival, as there was no change of name


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Subject: RE: Closure of Folk Festivals
From: The Sandman
Date: 01 May 18 - 08:38 AM

By contrast A Festival that has been run by the same oraniser for over 50 years Saltburn which was poreviously at Redcar is an example of a well directed festival


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Subject: RE: Closure of Folk Festivals
From: Howard Jones
Date: 01 May 18 - 07:08 AM

The original statement about the closure of Beverley referred to the directors as volunteers, that suggests to me that they were not paid. There were no doubt other people involved in organising it, but the directors are the ones who are formally responsible.

There may well have been some poor decisions, but that is easy to say with hindsight. It is possible that the seeds were sown when the festival moved out of town to the racecourse. I don't know the reasons for that (perhaps Sam Smith's opposition to live music had ruled out too many venues), but the move towards larger and perhaps more concert-based festivals may carry greater financial risks without necessarily being more attractive to customers. Personally, I would stay away from that sort of festival as I prefer smaller and more participatory ones.


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Subject: RE: Closure of Folk Festivals
From: David Carter (UK)
Date: 01 May 18 - 05:52 AM

I can't see any evidence in the documents on the companies house website that the directors have been paid.


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Subject: RE: Closure of Folk Festivals
From: GUEST,kenny
Date: 01 May 18 - 05:02 AM

Something that just occurred to me after reading the above. Would the 3 directors have been paid ?


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Subject: RE: Closure of Folk Festivals
From: The Sandman
Date: 01 May 18 - 03:50 AM

the last comment is a fact, were the directors the same people?


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Subject: RE: Closure of Folk Festivals
From: The Sandman
Date: 01 May 18 - 03:40 AM

Directors not volunteers would have made the bad business decision of continuing the festi8val on a high budget when in debt, instead of running a festival bases on singarounds and music sessions, ther result isd customers who in good faith lost 130 will not be refunded, a replay of Pickering which is geographically close in Yorkshire


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Subject: RE: Closure of Folk Festivals
From: Mr Red
Date: 01 May 18 - 03:23 AM

Too many folk festivals? A bit like village fetes were, the mobility of the car sorted that - too many other unrelated attractions, easily reachable, these days.

The consequence is that people are defined by their tribe which is increasingly less geographical.

There must be a similar effect going on with the types of Folk entertainment provided, the world changes and events have to reflect that or disappear. Sad but inevitable. It is just a gamble if you want to predict who/what/where/when. Was it ever thus?

In political changes there are always innocent loosers, and not ones that even the Left can be proud of. Ask me for an instance - I can tell you.


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Subject: RE: Closure of Folk Festivals
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 30 Apr 18 - 04:36 PM

"There are too many folk festivals, so it is inevitable that some will fall by the wayside.
I also think that this over supply contributes towards the death of folk clubs"


Nail, head.

The usual disclaimers apply......IMHO, YMMV etc.


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Subject: RE: Closure of Folk Festivals
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 30 Apr 18 - 03:56 PM

Yes, apparently the volunteer organisers were as much in the dark as everybody else and fell foul of what happened, having actually asked people to perform. The directors must at least take the brunt.


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Subject: RE: Closure of Folk Festivals
From: David Carter (UK)
Date: 30 Apr 18 - 09:18 AM

People are confusing organisers with directors here. There are three current directors listed at companies house. I suspect there are many more organisers.


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Subject: RE: Closure of Folk Festivals
From: GUEST
Date: 30 Apr 18 - 08:51 AM

Folk clubs: Struggles with venues and internal splits are among reasons I've been aware of.

On the latter, I do know of one town where last time I read, there are 2 clubs with different aims running on the same night with both apparently claiming the true lineage from the original club which had hit a bad patch.

Sadly, these things can happen. Years ago, I was involved in a new start up where shall I say there wasn't universal good will towards an existing club in the next nearby town. We had to have a vote as to whether or not it should run on the same night. In that case, different nights to enable people to support both won.


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Subject: RE: Closure of Folk Festivals
From: Johnny J
Date: 30 Apr 18 - 08:33 AM

The bigger ones also are responsible for "skewing" people's perception of what actually is folk and traditional music and/or what is popular.

For example award winners will often be those artists who are booked for the large festivals and, therefore, likely to be seen by the largest audiences while those performers who continue to play folk clubs, smaller concerts and festivals are more likely to be overlooked by the "mainstream" media and population in general.


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Subject: RE: Closure of Folk Festivals
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 30 Apr 18 - 08:07 AM

There are too many folk festivals, so it is inevitable that some will fall by the wayside.
I also think that this over supply contributes towards the death of folk clubs


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Subject: RE: Closure of Folk Festivals
From: henryclem
Date: 30 Apr 18 - 06:15 AM

Had the organisers opted to refund advance ticket buyers before going into liquidation then it is very likely that they would then have rendered themselves personally liable for those amounts, especially as the receiver would interpret their decision to refund as evidence of their realisation that there was enough of a financial shortfall to necessitate cancellation.


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Subject: RE: Closure of Folk Festivals
From: Howard Jones
Date: 30 Apr 18 - 05:08 AM

If I had bought a ticket then obviously I would be disappointed that the festival won't be taking place. I would of course like to get a refund, but I would realise that this is unlikely and that I must take my place in the queue along with all the other creditors. If I'd paid by credit card I would try to get a refund from my bank.

What I would not want is for the organisers to face financial hardship and perhaps personal bankruptcy by making refunds, which could amount to many thousands of pounds, out of their own pockets. That is an unfair and, in my opinion, unreasonable expectation to put upon volunteers who put a lot of time and effort into organising these events for our enjoyment and for no personal reward.


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Subject: RE: Closure of Folk Festivals
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 30 Apr 18 - 03:58 AM

Dick. The organisers cannot give refunds. The festival is in receivership bound by the rules of bankruptcy. They must already feel awful about that and I am sure they would rather it had not happened. But it did and there is nothing they can do about it now.


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Subject: RE: Closure of Folk Festivals
From: r.padgett
Date: 30 Apr 18 - 02:54 AM

The wider issue is why Festivals are closing? Beverley folk club had a good following and started the festival led by Chris Wade ~ and encompassed all aspects in dance, music sessions and concerts based city centre venues and a decent campsite (with basic showers) ~ Leisure centre came on board at some point too.

The folk club lost out to brewery policies on Music (Sam Smith ~ who seem to feel that beer quality was an issue and the true purpose that pubs are meeting places for ppl!and banned music!!

However fb has a page for Beverley fringe where in fact likes of Derek Waudby have been meeting for years during the now defunct Beverly folk festival ~ it really is down to people having big ambitions and not being aware that a folk festival is a participation venture and not a rock concert!!

Ray


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Subject: RE: Closure of Folk Festivals
From: GUEST,Observer
Date: 30 Apr 18 - 02:51 AM

From the point of view of folk enthusiasts having faith in festival organisers it would be better if festival ticket holders were refunded, that would also be the correct moral thing to do.
however Howeard if you think it more important that other creditors are paid first,
Dick Miles

It would appear that Dick Miles cannot recognise, or simply ignores, the fact that when an independent business venture (Which is what a Limited liability Company is in law) goes into receivership there is a strictly enforced procedure put in train. So with reference to your words quoted above Dick, it does not matter a jot what Howeard [sic] thinks is more important, what happens is governed by law. HMRC gets first dibs on any cash or assets held and they get their due in full, there then exists a strict pecking order of who gets paid what and when.


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Subject: RE: Closure of Folk Festivals
From: Andy7
Date: 29 Apr 18 - 08:02 PM

The important questions are, whether there was ever criminal intent, and whether the organisers ever personally pocketed and kept ticket money, despite a festival being cancelled.

The Law is there, rightfully, to protect innocent and vulnerable people from injury and loss. But there always needs to be a sense of proportion.

If the organisers of a cancelled festival are enthusiastic and well-meaning volunteers, giving their time for free just for the love of the music ... and if the only cash that ticket purchasers lost was the price of their tickets (sad though that obviously is) ... is anyone seriously going to suggest that those volunteer organisers should be financially ruined to recompense hundreds/thousands of ticket purchasers, if it all goes wrong?


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Subject: RE: Closure of Folk Festivals
From: David Carter (UK)
Date: 29 Apr 18 - 04:00 PM

I am not alleging anything Morris-ey, because I do not know whether the directors were aware that the company was insolvent when they sold tickets for the 2018 festival. I believe that in their position I would have known this, given access to the companies house website and a pocket calculator, but I am not in a position to say whether of not the directors knew.


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Subject: RE: Closure of Folk Festivals
From: The Sandman
Date: 29 Apr 18 - 03:23 PM

From the point of view of folk enthusiasts having faith in festival organisers it would be better if festival ticket holders were refunded, that would also be the correct moral thing to do.
however Howeard if you think it more important that other creditors are paid first ,
I will ask you one question how would Howard Jones feel if his ticket was not refunded,what do you suggest Howard?


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Subject: RE: Closure of Folk Festivals
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Apr 18 - 01:11 PM

Saying this as someone who has never been involved with a festival. I think in hindsight the only thing you can say is they shouldn't have run but, going by the comments here and what I can make out, I think that if I had no reason to believe the sponsor would drop out, I'd have ran the festival.

Whether I'd have got in to the position of heavy debt that, rightly or wrongly, I'm attributing to over ambitious expansion in the first place is another question. I suspect that depending on outlook, I'd have been too cautious or lacking in ambition for that. (That and, selfishly, I've more interest in what's happening in the pub than in a main stage headline act).


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Subject: RE: Closure of Folk Festivals
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 29 Apr 18 - 01:06 PM

It still sounds like the organisers, in your words 'take folk enthusiats money and do not refund it' on purpose but if you say that is not what you mean, I accept that.

So, what would you have them do? They don't have the money to refund it and, even if they did, they are now legally bound by the receivers to not trade. That includes giving refunds.


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Subject: RE: Closure of Folk Festivals
From: Howard Jones
Date: 29 Apr 18 - 12:56 PM

Dick, what are you actually suggesting they should do? I don't know the circumstances at Pickering. Beverley Folk Festival is in liquidation, and it is now out of the directors' hands. They cannot refund ticket sales, and the liquidator appointed to administer it will have to go through the proper legal process to try to repay all the creditors.

Are you suggesting the organisers should refund them out of their own pockets? And are you suggesting that ticket holders should take priority over other creditors? Please be clear what you are saying should be done.


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Subject: RE: Closure of Folk Festivals
From: The Sandman
Date: 29 Apr 18 - 10:18 AM

You are making sound like the organisers of these festivals deliberately set out to rip people off, Dick"
noDave that your interpretation, Iam stating facts two festivals have not refunded ticket purchasers, i said this

What concerns me is the small minority eg Pickering and Beverley, who take folk enthusiats money and do not refund it


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Subject: RE: Closure of Folk Festivals
From: Johnny J
Date: 29 Apr 18 - 08:16 AM

"Paying for something in advance is always a risk"

It many cases, that's the only option.

e.g. Travelling by air is not the same as getting a taxi. You don't just take the journey and pay the pilot on arrival.... and I realise that's an extreme example.

More seriously though, the options for purchasing tickets in advance or even otherwise of tickets are becoming much more restricted these days. Far fewer outlets where you can do this directly without web sites or third parties and just "turning up" isn't ideal either.


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Subject: RE: Closure of Folk Festivals
From: Howard Jones
Date: 29 Apr 18 - 07:44 AM

Dick, you're right that I've never run a folk festival (although I have run smaller events), and if you're saying that doing so should put me under a moral obligation to be personally responsible for repaying customers out of my own pocket, while getting no personal benefit if it makes a profit, then you can be sure I never will.

Personally I don't believe that volunteer organisers should be expected to repay tens of thousands of pounds themselves should things go wrong, especially for something which may be outside their control such as a withdrawal of sponsorship. Neither do I think it morally right to favour repaying ticket-holders (who may at least have some protection under consumer law) ahead of other creditors, who may be suffering greater financial loss and actual hardship. That is why there is insolvency law, to try to repay the company's debts in a way which is fair to everyone.

Paying for something in advance is always a risk, whether buying tickets, booking a holiday, or buying something on-line or by mail-order. There are advantages from doing so, but if the company goes bust you could lose your money. These recent failures are a reminder to pay with a credit card where possible, as this may provide some protection.


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Subject: RE: Closure of Folk Festivals
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 29 Apr 18 - 06:45 AM

I'm sure insurance companies would love a new way to take your money off you and then make up new excuses why they should not pay out :-)


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Subject: RE: Closure of Folk Festivals
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 29 Apr 18 - 06:24 AM

Where can you get insurance for running out of money?


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Subject: RE: Closure of Folk Festivals
From: GUEST,Derek Schofield
Date: 29 Apr 18 - 06:18 AM

Festivals do not always fold because of financial reasons. I was involved with organising Crewe and Nantwich festival 1976 to 1980, and it continued for a few years after my involvement. Then it returned in the 1980s with new organisers. Certainly, in its first phase, it ended because the organisers had other things to do - such as families, careers etc. Nantwich now hosts an annual Jazz and Blues festival at Easter time, and a Words and Music festival in October. Things change.

Derek


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Subject: RE: Closure of Folk Festivals
From: GUEST,JHW
Date: 29 Apr 18 - 05:51 AM

I'd agree with the saturation. Folk Festivals used to be a spring to autumn season.
Now there's probably more than one to choose every weekend, thinning out punters at festivals and thinning out club going too.
Beverley already folded in the past and was reborn. So did Durham. Sidmouth was restructured. Cleethorpes was variously rehashed then folded. (First festival I ever went to) What ever happened to Crewe & Nantwich? (for example)I've no idea. I went every year but that was long ago.
Festivals folding isn't new.


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Subject: RE: Closure of Folk Festivals
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 29 Apr 18 - 05:34 AM

You are making sound like the organisers of these festivals deliberately set out to rip people off, Dick. I am sure that they are mortified that they cannot refund the money and I am equally sure that it was just a series of unfortunate events coupled with poor management that caused the issue. No one has the power to prevent it happening again but, as Mr Red says, it could be a wake up call. Maybe more organisers should consider insuring their events against such circumstances? 25+ years of helping to run Swinton folk club and festival has taught me that you cannot foresee the unforeseen!


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Subject: RE: Closure of Folk Festivals
From: Mr Red
Date: 29 Apr 18 - 04:18 AM

Probably not

But it may be a wake-up call for them.


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Subject: RE: Closure of Folk Festivals
From: The Sandman
Date: 28 Apr 18 - 02:22 PM

What concerns me is the small minority eg Pickering and Beverley, who take folk enthusiats money and do not refund it, there is an organisation called the Association of festival organisers, I believe Beverley was a member? is that so? and if Beverley was a member do they have any power to prevent this from happening again?


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Subject: RE: Closure of Folk Festivals
From: The Sandman
Date: 28 Apr 18 - 02:15 PM

Folk club organisers in my experience,generally speaking, budget carefully , they do not promise fees they cannot produce,that has been my experience., this is also the casewith 98 percent of Folk Festival organisers.
My Ex perience of festival organisation is 9 years involvement on committee of Ballydehob Jazz Festival from its beginning [although Iam no longer involved], and 7 years experience in www.fastnet Maritime.com.


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Subject: RE: Closure of Folk Festivals
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 28 Apr 18 - 02:07 PM

I forgot to type "FREE events"...[but donations on the door to help cover costs gratefully accepted..]...


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Subject: RE: Closure of Folk Festivals
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 28 Apr 18 - 01:53 PM

I've good mates, who have a lifetime actively organising grassroots community events..
But their positive enthusiasm outreaches their grasp of, and patience with, bureaucratic accounting/tax/insurance/etc regulations..

They started off back in the 70s when you could just slap an event together spontaneously, with scant regard or respect for 'officialdom'...

Sometimes I feel anxious what would happen to them if a spiteful local tory busybody
decided to investigate their well meant pro-community activities...

The local elderly tories used to constantly try to shut down our teenage music events
until some of the greedy buggers relised they could make money themselves from gig promotions of 'approved' music..


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Subject: RE: Closure of Folk Festivals
From: The Sandman
Date: 28 Apr 18 - 01:52 PM

Do Pter and Howard Jones have anty experience of running Festivals?
I do, and that is not how it should be done or in my experience is done.
If Howards business idea was common practice more festivals would have gone to the wall, and the customers faith in purchasing tickets in advance would be very little.


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Subject: RE: Closure of Folk Festivals
From: The Sandman
Date: 28 Apr 18 - 01:44 PM

"
Howard Jones:What Dick appears to be saying is that a festival shouldn't begin to plan the next year's event before it's paid off the debts from the previous year. That is an ideal position which I suspect is not realistic in practice, and under those conditions I doubt many festivals could go ahead."
Simply, bad business practice, and well wide of the mark,


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Subject: RE: Closure of Folk Festivals
From: GUEST,Morris-ey
Date: 28 Apr 18 - 01:13 PM

David Carter

The only circumstance in which the directors of a not for profit company limited by guarantee would be held liable personally for debts would be if there were some fraudulent activity.

Are you alleging such?


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Subject: RE: Closure of Folk Festivals
From: GUEST,kenny
Date: 28 Apr 18 - 11:16 AM

Thank you for that excellent post above, Howard. However, would it not therefore have been more honest of the organisers, certainly in this particular case - and any other festivals which may be "operating on a financial knife-edge" - to state from the outset that there may be an element of financial risk in purchasing tickets in advance ?
Apart from sympathising with those who bought tickets in good faith and have lost their money, my concern is that this one instance could have a "ripple" effect, and spread to other festivals, where customers may be reluctant to part with their hard-earned up-front, thus perhaps putting other events in jeopardy.


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Subject: RE: Closure of Folk Festivals
From: GUEST,Peter
Date: 28 Apr 18 - 10:15 AM

An excellent summary from Howard. I recall being told that a major festival takes something like 18 months to set up with the booking of top-line acts and large venues.


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Subject: RE: Closure of Folk Festivals
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 28 Apr 18 - 09:55 AM

Howard Jones:What Dick appears to be saying is that a festival shouldn't begin to plan the next year's event before it's paid off the debts from the previous year. That is an ideal position which I suspect is not realistic in practice, and under those conditions I doubt many festivals could go ahead. Organising any event, but especially a large and complex one like a festival, means entering into obligations and incurring costs up-front in the expectation that in time there will be sufficient income to cover them. That is not in itself immoral or illegal, and is the financial model for a great many businesses which can't rely on a steady income stream but are dependent on a single event to bring in income.

The debts are really a matter between the festival and its creditors. In Beverley's case the racecourse appears to have been willing to extend credit, not only for the previous year but to allow this year's event to go ahead. The problem has not been caused by debts being called in but by the loss of anticipated income because funding has been withdrawn. This is something to which many festivals are vulnerable.

In my opinion the organisers would only have been acting immorally if they had sold tickets when they should have known there was a good chance that the festival would not go ahead. If the funding was always uncertain but the decided to go ahead in the unreasonable hope that it would materialise, then they may well have been acting irresponsible, and possibly were trading unlawfully and could face sanctions. If not, then they took the only course open to them once the funding was withdrawn, by going into liquidation.


Exactly this! A sensible précis of the situation, rather than the emotive bluster we've been getting from some quarters. So I thought it would bear re-quoting.


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