Just A Tribute Festival
Firstly, I’d like to apologise for the delay in getting this out to you guys, but the last week has been a dizzying mix of ups and downs.
At the point of cancellation, my first priority was to contact all of my team, the bands and suppliers many of whom were due to start arriving on site just 13 hours later. Next, I had to set about making a public announcement of the cancellation sent to all ticket holders, on social media, our website, news, radio and to help to spread the word to non-ticket holders. this was to ensure everyone knew not to come to the festival itself, closely followed by the process of issuing refunds to every single ticket buyer. Everyone should’ve had their refund before the end of last week and if you still haven’t had your ticket refunded, please get in touch with me.
On the day of the festival, despite it being almost traumatising, I personally went to the venue just in case anyone turned up. Fortunately, word had spread fast and wide, and no one arrived with the expectation that it was still on.
Reason for Cancellation:
The last thing any promoter wants to do is cancel an event, particularly when that event is self-funded and has been growing to the point that is starts to cover its’ costs – I’ve put my life into this over the last 3 years and each year we have grown bigger and put on a better production showcasing some of the best tribute acts on the market, to have it cancelled is absolutely devastating.
Unfortunately, in the final stages of planning for this year’s festival, some paperwork issues were highlighted. These issues were all relatively simple to resolve and having agreed a timeframe to do so, my production team and I were working hard to meet this. We brought in some additional expert consultants and even managing to delay production to ensure that everything would meet the high levels of scrutiny we had been placed under, more so than any previous event any of us have been involved in, including in the borough of Richmond.
Ultimately, the venue felt that I could not meet the deadline set that afternoon and decided to cancel the booking, taking the final decision out of my hands.
At this time, I cannot go into more detail regarding the cancellation as I wouldn’t want to say anything that affects any potential litigation.
You might have noticed that throughout this statement I’m referring to myself a lot.
I’m Dan Carden, founder of Just A Tribute Festival, there is no corporate entity behind the festival, it is and always has been my personal project, the festival that I would want to go to, the bands I’d love to see and hopefully a few thousand other people agree with me and have one hell of a day out.
I have funded the festival from my own pocket from day one.
It costs a lot of money to put on and it’s well known that a festival will rarely get close to breaking even until the third year. This is something I was aware of, I had accounted for it, more importantly, this year was going to “break even” – ticket sales were on track to hit my target and those combined with the cut I get from the bars would’ve filled the gap. 2023 was meant to have left me in a financial position to do it again next year.
However, the cancellation of the event means that all the money invested up front is now gone – non- refundable deposits, stock costs, wages for people who’ve done advance work, the advertising and so many more upfront costs that I have to cover.
Yes, it’s a lot to undertake on your own, so whilst I book the artists, the venue and do all the paperwork, I have gradually built up a team around me who make this festival happen, in 2021 I met the bar and site infrastructure team, then my technical production team who came on board for 2022 and vastly improved the festival.
This year, they have worked on plans for months in advance to ensure this year was better than ever and deferred their advance fees until after the event that never took place.
Currently, I’m seeking legal advice on the situation, someone has already had a look at all the documentation and feels that there are cases to answer, but they aren’t in a position to help further.
Sadly, my new financial position means I cannot currently pay for legal representation and good legal advice is rarely free, which limits my options.
Whilst I’m not the sort of person who likes to ask for favours, right now I want to save the festival and bring it back for 2024 – As well as covering out of pocket expenses of the many people who help to create an experience like Just A Tribute Festival – if anyone could spare an hour, or knows of someone in the legal world that deals with contract law, I’d really appreciate any help or advise they can offer. CONTACT ME HERE
As the initial tsunami of crap has settled, I’ve talked to my team, we’ve got some ideas, there may be a way to come back, but it’s all down to money (I don’t mean to go on about it).
Thank you for all of the support! The saddest bit is we didn’t get to rock out together!!
I hope that I can find funds, find a new home for Just A Tribute Festival and return for 2024… and if it does, I’d love to see you all there enjoying yourselves and having an epic day out!
Lastly, if you have any questions, can offer assistance or advice, please CONTACT ME HERE or via our social media (Facebook is best for this).