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Hop Farm and Guilfest organisers both go into administration

Two more UK festival promoters have come off the rails, with Vince Power’s listed company Music Festivals plc calling in administrators as of September 23rd.  Previously the company had said that it has unable to secure new funding, and that it was had asked the Alternative Investment Market to suspend trading in its shares. The company owns the UK’s Hop Farm festival and Spain’s Benicassim, The Feis Festival in Finsbury Park, London and a new festival called Costa de Fuego, also in Spain. The company suffered particularly from poor ticket sales at the Hop Farm, although the 2012 edition of Benicassim was also not sold out, prompting Power to lend the company £750,000.  In a statement yesterday the firm said: “The board of Music Festivals has resolved to appoint an administrator and once that appointment has been agreed a further announcement will be made in due course”. Power owns 23.29% of the shares and his family another near 20% stake. COO / Finance Director Jon Hale owns 5%.

 

Also just announced, Tony Scott’s Scotty Events, promoters of the 20,000 capacity Guilfest, has also gone into administration, following poor ticket sales for this year’s event. In an announcement on Facebook Scotty Events said: “Scotty Events Ltd regret to announce that Guilfest has ceased to trade due to poor ticket sales at this year’s event in July. We assess that this was down to the worst weather conditions we have experienced in history of the festival, combined with intense competition presented this year from other events. On-going matters now lie in the hands of the insolvency practitioner Leigh Adams LLP”. Launched, in 1992 the family friendly festival has become a key fixture on the UK festival calendar. Founder Tony Scott told the BBC that poor ticket sales this year – due in part to locals holding off buying tickets in order to see how the weather turned out – had left the festival with debts of £300,000, pointing out that over the weekend the weather was indeed dire and the site very muddy, and that “The Olympics were on, a lot of people were going to that. Farnborough Air Show was on the same weekend as us for the first time this year. There was Tom Jones playing up the road at Sandown Park, Bruce Springsteen was playing in London, and there was an awful lot going on around our weekend, as well as the bad weather” adding “I’d love to see Guilfest keep going, but I think it’s got to be somebody with deeper pockets … to make sure it goes through”.