Access All Areas November 2018 - Page 7

NOVEMBER | AGENDA Quote of the month: “We can confirm the Bestival Group has had some financial challenges of late but the process we are in allows a new partner to come on board with the financial commitments required to deliver Bestival 2019 in its finest form” A statement on Bestival’s website Going down in flames The founder of Fyre Festival, Billy McFarland, has been jailed for six years for fraud. Fyre Festival took place in April 2017. It was billed as a ‘cultural moment created from a blend of music, art and food’ in the Bahamas. It claimed to offer a stay in a ‘geodesic dome’ and many other activities such as yoga and kayaking, as well as luxury villas and gourmet meals. In reality, attendees arrived at a small island with tents, pre-packaged sandwiches and very little organization, having paid between $1,200 and $100,000 for tickets. McFarland was described a judge as a ‘serial fraudster’. US attorney for Manhattan Geoffrey Berman said: “Today, McFarland found out the hard way that empty promises don’t lead to jet-setting, champagne and extravagant parties – they lead to federal prison.” McFarland pleaded guilty in March to two counts of wire fraud related to the festival, but then in July admitted two more counts of fraud relating to another ticket-selling scam that he had set up while on bail. Wireless festival to undergo review following Corbyn complaint Wireless festival is set to undergo a review of the license awarded to its parent company, Live Nation Entertainment. The 49,000 capacity festival takes place in North London’s Finsbury Park, but increasing pressure has come from Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and residents group Friends of Finsbury Park. Corbyn wrote a 600-word letter to Haringey council complaining about noise levels, antisocial behaviour and drug use at the festivals 2018 edition. This year’s Wireless was headlined by Stormzy, Drake and J Cole. Wireless is organised by Festival Republic, which is owned by Live Nation. Festival Republic MD Melvin Benn told Live UK: “The review is a perfectly normal procedure – the Council is Photo: Ashley Verse reviewing the conditions that are imposed on the event, not our adherence to the conditions. “Some sensible issues have been raised and it could lead to some positive changes. Haringey Council is not looking for any reduction in capacity. A reduction is not something I will entertain.” Brexit. WTAF. Deborah Armstrong, founder of event design company Strong & Co, on Brexit. Anyone else out there worried about March 2019? Thought so. Whether Leaver or Remainer, one thing unites us - we have no idea right now what is going to happen. Anxiety is high. Every industry has been issuing risk warnings about the logistical impact and we will face them too. But I’m optimistic about event industry folk – we are ninjas at problem solving, at risk analysis, at calculating outcomes based on probabilities. We manage risks, we are resourceful, we are resilient, we find a way, always. No, what I’m concerned about is the impact of uncertainty. Here in the Event Industry the impact of uncertainty ripples out from clients to producers to suppliers and artists. In the case of uncertainty, there is no objective basis for calculating the probabilities. So ya know. WTAF. I remember from the last recession that uncertainty means fewer hires, less spend on creative. We all become squirrels that need to bury their nuts. Even regular clients just won’t be spending beyond the essentials. Unfortunately for Strong & Co the essentials don’t often include lavish experiential creative projects. So I’m gonna make like one of those tiny desert cactuses- conserve resources and burst into bloom when the rain comes. And the rain will come. It always does. 07