Subscribe to our RSS News feed Follow safeconcerts on Twitter Follow Safeconcerts on Facebook 
You're the stars! We have thousands of crowd photos here.
We know live music would be nothing without you!
Protect yourself from ticket scammers and fraudsters
before you buy with our Be Ticket Safe® Directory

25th September 2012
Vince Power's Music Festivals company goes bust

More News

A dreadful festival season results in a major festival organiser calling in the administrators

Vince Power’s Music Festivals company, responsible for Hop Farm, Feis Festival in Finsbury Park, the Festival Internacional de Benicassim in Spain and Costa de Fuego also in Spain has now announced its intention to call in the administrators.

The company suspended trading in its shares on Friday (September 21st 2012). The decision came after a difficult few months for the company, which only floated on the Stock Exchange last summer.

Music Festivals blamed its problems on weaker than expected ticket sales this year at its two main events, the Hop Farm festival and Benicassim in Spain. Music Festivals said Hop Farm had made a loss, while Benicassim was far less profitable than in previous years.

Industry experts blamed Music Festivals Group's financial woes on the wet summer and competition from rivals even though Glastonbury and the Big Chill took gap years and one-off events such as the Olympics.

The Mean Fiddler impresario's return to public life was high-risk. Power owns 23% and, along with relatives, the family stake adds up to more than 40%. Like other investors, they face being left with nothing. Power had also propped up the company with a 750,000 unsecured loan in July.

"Over the last three or four years there has been a growing sense that the market has become too crowded," said Dave Newton, director at the box office website We Got Tickets. "There is a bit of auto-correction going on."

The number of festivals is estimated to have mushroomed to about 700 in the past decade and this year industry figures also complained of the pressure caused by a growing number of free music events such as Radio 1's Big Weekend in Hackney, which attracted 100,000 people.

With the squeeze on consumer spending hitting all age groups, many Britons thought twice about what can add up to expensive weekends away. "Prices have accelerated too much," said Newton. "People are being asked to pay 100 for a ticket that five years ago would have cost 35."

Bad vibes started to emerge from the company at the start of the summer when it told investors that ticket sales for Benicassim and Hop Farm looked disappointing.

In the end, Hop Farm, held in Kent and headlined by Bob Dylan, proved to be loss-making, while Benicassim was hammered by the recession and punishing levels of youth unemployment in Spain. Despite offering acts such as the Stone Roses and Florence + the Machine, the Valencia festival would prove to be much less profitable than in 2011.

By August the picture had darkened with the company saying it expected to make a "material loss" for the year and admitting it was casting around for a financial lifeline from investors. Last week it said that search had proved fruitless and moved for its shares to be suspended.

"The board has in recent weeks pursued a number of different funding proposals but the company has not been able to procure the necessary funding it requires," it said in a statement. Last year the company made a pre-tax profit of 800,000 on sales of 13m and at that time had no debt. With no formal appointment of administrators it remains unclear how much money is owed to its suppliers.

Claire O'Neill, of the Association of Independent Festivals, said its 40 members, who include the organisers of Womad, have reported "mixed experiences" this year but the overall picture was not of doom and gloom, pointing to events such as Bestival and End of the Road, which sold out, albeit later than in previous years.

"There has been a huge increase in the number of festivals and for every new one that have popped up, others have fallen by the wayside," said O'Neill, adding that it was the festival brands with the most distinct identities that were prospering. "Festivals can't be carbon copied and rolled out on a production line ... a successful festival needs a unique identity that people relate to and want to go and see."

Music Festivals’ decision to call in administrators, however, is particularly unexpected: not only did the company make a profit last year of 0.8m, it is also headed by one of the best-known promoters in the live music business in Vince Power, the self-styled ‘king of gigs’ and creator of the Mean Fiddler Group.

What will now happen to Hop Farm and Benicassim as well as the company’s Costa De Fuego event is, for the moment, uncertain. Music Festivals says it will make an announcement “in due course” once it has appointed an administrator.

Source: The Guardian - full article here
Be Ticket Safe® and avoid ticket fraud:
only buy from legitimate outlets, don't lose out to scams & ticket touts

See our Be Ticket Safe® section for more in depth information about how to protect yourself

 

Sorry, but you need to login to your account to add feedback.

Login now, or sign up for your free account


Share Safeconcerts
Dull yet neccessary disclaimer: Safeconcerts.com cannot be held liable for any loss caused as a result of the publication of information here or of your acts or omissions based on the information published here. This is an open forum and as such we welcome contributions from any companies, artists or people listed to correct any inaccuracies. Unfortunately, due to the way that information is distributed, Safeconcerts cannot make any warranty or representation as to the accuracy or completeness of the information contained on this site. Read our full terms and conditions of use.
Contact Us | Website Terms of Use | BACK TO TOP | Safeconcerts: Proud to be a thorn in the site of ticket touts and fraudsters
Ticket Safe Home Page The Red List: websites to avoid now The Green List: websites we recommend Suggest a site here The latest Ticket Safe News How to buy tickets safely What to do if you've been a victim of fraud Ticket Safe Forum Ticket Safe Articles About Us Media Contacts Buy Concert Tickets Safely