Between the Bahamian Fyre Festival and BC’s Pemberton Music Festival, more than $10 million in ticket sales have been swallowed up by event organisers who can’t pay their bills or offer refunds to advance ticket holders. The sheer size of these failures has drawn scrutiny from regulators, enforcement agencies and lawyers seeking redress for their clients.
The festival business is in the eye of a hurricane and organisers are almost certain to be in for stormy weather from government agencies charged with consumer protection in future.
The Fyre Festival fiasco is well documented.
The Pemberton failure that swallowed up $6-plus million in advance ticket sales now has organisers under severe scrutiny, and at least one person calling for a criminal investigation.
Writer and publisher Dave Brooks, in his live music and concert news website Amplify, digs deep into the backstory of the Pemberton event and its organisers.
On Monday, May 22, he wrote: “The collapse was startling because unlike Fyre Festival, Pemberton was ticketed by a major ticketing company and promoted by Huka Entertainment, a well-known indie outfit in New Orleans. Sure, the disastrous Fyre Festival was something to be laughed at — a tone-deaf and impossible-to-deliver concert organised by a washed-up rapper and a pathological liar — but for Pemberton, the companies involved (like Ticketfly) were well-known entities who had handled hundreds of music festivals.
“Just two weeks after going on sale, the investors who controlled the festival — landowners Jeremy Turner and Amanda Girling along with and Canadian mining executives Jim Dales and Stephane Lescure — had millions in ticket sales advanced to them by Ticketfly. About a week later, the same festival owners quietly resigned from one of the two shell companies that owned the Pemberton festival.
“A week after that, a second shell company — Pemberton Music Festival LP — declared bankruptcy and instructed fans to apply for refunds for their $270-plus tickets as unsecured creditors with no guarantees they’d see a dollar...”
— Continue reading Dave Brooks on Amplify here