Friday 23 August 2019

Boardmasters festival unable to guarantee refunds after late cancellation

Ticket holders have complained after the festival was cancelled at late notice.

Wu-Tang Clan were among the performance due to play at Boardmasters (Katja Ogrin/PA)
Wu-Tang Clan were among the performance due to play at Boardmasters (Katja Ogrin/PA)

By Stephen Jones, PA

The organiser of Boardmasters festival was unable to confirm that those with tickets would receive a refund after the event was cancelled at the 11th hour due to bad weather.

Some angry festivalgoers took to social media to complain they had travelled long distances to reach the site in Newquay, Cornwall, only to find out about the cancellation hours before the gates were due to open.

In an interview with ITV News, organiser Andrew Topham repeatedly failed to guarantee that ticket holders would get their money back, stating the festival would have to “go through some steps with our individual ticket providers” before offering further information.

The decision to cancel the festival followed two severe weather warnings from the Met Office which warned of torrential rain and high winds.

While performances at the event – which included slots from stars such as Wu-Tang Clan, Florence + The Machine and Foals – were not due to begin until Friday, doors were set to open to visitors on Wednesday.

In a statement posted on Twitter at 11pm on Tuesday, the festival said “we sincerely regret the disappointment to fans, and apologise for any disruption caused to local businesses”.

It added: “The safety of you, the fans and attendees, as well as performers and crew comes first.”

Music fan Kristina Powell said she had not been able to sleep for shock after learning that the festival had been cancelled.

She had been planning to attend the event with friends, and had travelled down from Cheshire.

She told PA: “My cousins came from London to meet me yesterday. Two more of our friends travelled to Newquay yesterday and stayed in a B&B last night. One more was on an overnight coach and arrived in Newquay at 6am.

“At first we couldn’t and didn’t want to believe it and honestly thought it was a hoax. It all seemed a bit unprofessional — a screenshot of a statement written on a ‘notes’ app?

“The website was down, which added to our doubt. Then when it did come back up, tickets were still available to buy.”

Georgina Vardigans began travelling to Cornwall from Surrey with her boyfriend Joe, leaving at 5am before they realised the event was cancelled.

She told PA: “I am absolutely gutted. This was our only holiday this year, we bought £100 worth of clothes and supplies and were so excited to see amazing music.

“Finding it hard to deal with the disappointment and the fact that we’ve both lost so much money and booked time off work too.

“Not to mention we bought add-on purchases that definitely won’t be refunded.”

After the announcement, people could be seen gathering at the town’s railway station with camping gear.

Megabus said it would allow passengers to amend their return tickets and would also make extra seats available on its service to London on Wednesday.

Great Western Railway said passengers could use their return tickets early, adding that usually non-refundable tickets on its service could also be refunded.

PA Media

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