Jabberwocky

London’s Jabberwocky Festival, presented by All Tomorrow’s Parties, was supposed to begin tomorrow. Instead, ATP made a last-minute decision to cancel the festival earlier this week, claiming that the costs of the show would put the company out of business for good. ATP also told people who had bought tickets to go to their ticket sellers for refunds. But yesterday, Dash Tickets, the festival’s main ticket seller, announced plans to pursue legal action against ATP, claiming that Dash had already given all money from ticket sales, plus significant advances, to ATP. Today, ATP has put a new statement up on its Facebook page, reiterating that buyers should try to get refunds from Dash and from other ticket sellers and also saying that, if that doesn’t work (or if Dash representative “are not being helpful”), fans should try contacting the bank to cancel the transaction. Basically, ATP is claiming, in this statement, that the company has no responsibility to the people who bought tickets. Here’s that statement:

Following the announcement yesterday that ATP sadly had no other option than to cancel this weekend’s previously scheduled Jabberwocky Festival – we are currently experiencing a very high volume of email to our feedback@atpfestival.com account. Our entire staff are working their hardest to get back to everyone’s questions as quickly as possible though, and aim to respond to each new message in between 24-48 hours. Many thanks for your patience on this matter.

To confirm, even though some outlets may take longer than others; it is ATP’s only goal to ensure that all customers receive their due refund. For the vast majority of people, Dash Tickets will be their point of purchase. It is their responsibility to refund the customer, as they were the company that took payments; not ATP. And if Dash are not being helpful facilitating this matter, your next point of contact should be directly with your bank or card provider to order a chargeback of your purchase amount.

If you happened to book through one of our alternate ticket agents, and have further questions, please feel free to contact us at the email address above.

To our customers – we are crushed that this weekend is unable to go ahead, and exhausted every option and resource attempting to avoid this absolute last-resort situation up to the moment yesterday’s statement was made. Our deepest apologies for the inconvenience this cancellation has caused you all.

(via ATP’s Facebook page)

What a mess. Despite its money problems, ATP had a pretty sterling reputation among fans before this whole situation, and it won’t be easy to repair that.

Comments (2)
  1. “ATP had a pretty sterling reputation among fans before this whole situation” – a sterling reputation for the great festivals they throw, but not their financial management, which was visibly suffering for years but became a public mess over the last two years (from the Guardian):

    “In 2012, the firm’s directors, Barry Hogan and Deborah Higgins, put the company then running ATP’s gigs and festivals into liquidation. That firm owed creditors more than £2.6m at the time. The losses were principally caused by poor ticket sales for festivals.”

    “Last year, it cancelled an event at Alexandra Palace headlined by Grizzly Bear.”

    And it wasn’t just the undersold cancelled festivals. ATP went through a period where they were clearly overstretched – putting on four festivals per year in the UK (?!) and simultaneously moving stateside, running an annual membership programme allowing people early access to on sales, etc. This led to non-fan friendly practices such as announcing just a single headliner, putting tickets on sale and then not filling out an impressive line-up. Or surprise announcing another festival two weeks after on sale of the first.

    Some (if not all) of the best festivals I’ll ever attend were put on by ATP (Godspeed, vs The Fans, TYOATP) and I wish it could have gone on for ever. But these financial woes and fan issues aren’t coming out of the blue.

  2. Yep. Definitely seems like a mess. I know that bands are saddened at the cancelation of Jabberwocky, but I haven’t seen any voicing outright frustration at ATP. I hope this blows over, but I’m worried that this is going to make it harder to get good bands to commit to an ATP festival in the future knowing that there’s risk of a last minute cancelation. OWWWWOOOOOOOOOO!

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