Access All Areas November 2018 - Page 6

This month’s catch up… Bestival acquired from administration by creditor Bestival has been acquired by creditor The Richmond Group (TRG), after falling into administration just days before. The festival’s future was uncertain when TRG reportedly called in a £1.6m loan, forcing the Bestival Group into the care of administrators Begbies Traynor. But TRG subsequently won a bidding war to take ownership of the festival, which received several offers. The Richmond Group is owned by British billionaire James Benamore, who told The Guardian: “We have been fans and supporters of Bestival since the beginning. Our children have grown up with 06 wonderful memories of these festivals. “We are keen to ensure that this fantastic institution goes on to delight families and local businesses for many years to come.” This year’s Bestival took place from 2-5 August 2018 at the Lulworth Estate in Dorset. It was headlined by London Grammar, Grace Jones and Jorja Smith, among others. The festival is now in its 15th year, having been founded in 2004 by Radio One DJ Robert Gorham aka Rob Da Bank. Access reached out to The Richmond Group for comment, but received no response. Blinded by the hype Peaky Blinders festival in Birmingham and Comedy Central Live! in Southampton have both faced recent scrutiny from fans, demanding refunds and claiming they were mis-sold. Comedy Central Live! was a comedy festival featuring high profile acts such as Jimmy Carr and Russell Howard, which took place from 5-7 October. It sold tickets for £20, but many fans attending did not realize they also needed to queue for additional free tickets to gain access to each individual show. These took place in tents which were described as ‘small’ and quickly sold out, leaving many fans stranded in Hoglands Park without being able to see any acts. Peaky Blinders festival took place in Birmingham on 30 September, billing itself as offering ‘underground bootleg bars and over 100 actors and musicians in flapper dresses and iconic caps’, as well as vintage fairground rides and street food. But attendee Adam Baggs told Access: “About a quarter of the 100 ‘actors’ in traditional dress were actually there, which meant the entertainment was fairly non-existent and turned the whole immersive experience into little more than a themed bar with huge queues.” Within hours of the event ending on Sunday night, the organisers applied to Companies House for the business to be struck off and dissolved. Days later, however, they retracted this application and said they would “address the complaints”. Both events raise questions about the ethics of marketing a festival, and how to manage expectation vs reality.