The Jabberwocky Festival, which All Tomorrow’s Parties was co-presenting along with Pitchfork and Primavera Sound, was set to come to London this weekend, bringing an enviable lineup of acts. But yesterday, just a few days before the festival was set to start, ATP canceled it, citing high costs and insufficient ticket sales. And now two companies that were working with ATP on the festival, the ticket seller Dash Tickets and the PR firm the Zeitgeist Agency, are pursuing legal action against ATP.
As NME reports, the issue with Dash Tickets is that ATP told ticket buyers to seek refunds from Dash. But Dash claims that it gave the money from those sales, as well as some advance money, to ATP: “Our trust in ATP seems to have been misplaced, as their emails to fans and customers today concerning refunds have become deliberately misleading. It is for this reason that we feel compelled to make it clear that Dash has given to ATP all funds that Dash received for ticket sales to Jabberwocky. In addition to giving ATP all the ticketing funds, Dash has made substantial advances to ATP which remain unpaid, as do considerable fees for the work we have undertaken on their behalf… It is important that everyone knows that Dash Tickets is in no way responsible for ATPs financial problems, nor with their conduct post cancellation. We are very keen to learn where the money has gone!”
The Zeitgeist Agency, meanwhile, claims that ATP (otherwise known as Willwal Ltd.) owes money for services rendered: “Willwal Ltd have failed to pay us for several months. We have tried hard to overcome this situation and find solutions, but Willwal’s representatives have revealed to us in writing that they used the funds destined for us in order to protect payments for venue and artists, rather than settle essential and agreed amounts to our company. This situation has left our company with no alternative but to pursue Willwal Ltd by instituting legal proceedings on the 20th July to recover the substantial debt, to which Willwal Ltd have not responded. This is a course of action which as you can imagine, we have been very reluctant to take.”
NME also quotes one ticket-buying fan who isn’t happy with the way the cancellation went down: “I know as music lovers we are supposed to support independent event organisers but ATP still plan to go ahead with ATP Iceland in 2015 without refunding people for the London festival first. Personally I lost £136 and want the money back.”
In a statement yesterday, festival organizer Barry Hogan claimed that if they’d gone through with the London festival, the costs would’ve meant the end of ATP. It now seems possible that legal costs from the cancellation could mean the end of the company anyway. ATP puts on great, great events, and right now, all we can do is hope the company figures everything out. The festival landscape would be an infinitely shittier place without those guys around.