Alt-Fest organisers confirm cancellation and say cost of £1.7m festival failure will bankrupt them

Gary Numan, Leamington Spa, December 2011. Photo by David Jackson ENGNNL00120111216115031
Gary Numan, Leamington Spa, December 2011. Photo by David Jackson ENGNNL00120111216115031

The organisers of the Alt-Fest in Northamptonshire face going bankrupt after being forced to cancel the festival due to poor ticket sales.

Writing on their website on Friday night, Missy and Dom apologised to all those who had bought tickets as they confirmed that festival had been called off.

Rumours had started circulating earlier last week as headline act Marilyn Manson posted on his Facebook page that he would not be appearing. This was followed by other acts, including Gary Numan, but the organisers had remained silent until last night.

In a lengthy statement, Missy and Dom said it was “with a heavy heart that they confirmed Alt-Fest was cancelled.

“We tried to put on a ground-breaking event for you & the alternative scene, and it was your support that was helping to make it happen.

“From our early days on Kickstarter through to all of you who have purchased tickets we thank you. We the organisers of Alt-Fest have done everything we can to save it, but this week we ran out of time to raise all the required funds that was needed upfront of the festival,” the said.

“We also wish to apologise for the delay in releasing a formal statement cancelling the festival. We realise this has severely damaged our personal and professional reputations, we can only sincerely apologise for any additional stress and upset this has caused, we were honestly looking to act in your best interests.”

They said they had been advised not to respond to individual compaints and confirmed that they had sold 7,500 tickets but had failed to cover the £1.7 million costs of staging the festival.

“We ourselves and all of the Alt-Fest team have put in huge amounts of effort and time over the past two years and done everything within our power to make this work,” the added.

“If we were to sell a minimum of another 1,000 tickets between now and the festival, we’d have suffered a significant loss that we couldn’t carry. This recently came to light based on a costing error explained below and inevitably down to the fact that the investor unfortunately pulled out last minute.

“We were expecting to sell more tickets based on our line-up, and if we had sold just 3000 tickets more then we would have been over the breakeven line, or if we could have deferred a percentage of our contractor’s payment, which they sadly were not prepared to do,” they said.

“We are still trying to understand why we haven’t sold more tickets despite the offering &andenergy that has gone into it.

“We’ve also been contending with a costing error made and ultimately poor advice in the early stages.

“Additionally during the latter planning stages we were forced to move our main arena, through no fault of our own. This caused many extra costs that further increased the budget upfront of the event,” they added.

“We are so, so deeply sorry, it’s awful to think of all the people who bought a ticket in good faith, who booked travel, some from the other side of the world. We massively appreciate the support you have shown, especially all the people who championed and defended us.

“We do want you to know though, that it was never a scam or a con. We tried to do something new and different for you and the alternative scene, which was not easy. We have not gone on any exotic holidays or feathered our own nest, in fact exactly the opposite. We did not embezzle the money, or spend it recklessly, we used it to secure some of those great bands we had in the line-up, who required considerable deposits, and other aspects of the event as previously mentioned. “We feel we have let the alternative community down, this saddens us immensely & the process we are about to go through is going to bankrupt us, which as I’m sure you can imagine adds huge strain on us as people and as a family.

“It is just simply awful and we can only thank those of you who have shown us kindness and endless support, especially now in our most testing hour.”