One of the headline acts of a collapsed music festival at Ragley Hall in Warwickshire have said it would not be available for a re-scheduled show.
The Happy Mondays, due to play at the Monarchy Live Festival on July 4 before it was cancelled, said they were starting a United States tour and would not be available for a new date.
Festival organisers SMR Entertainment, based at the Custard Factory in Birmingham, said last week they were hoping to rearrange the festival for next month. But ticket-holders wanting to obtain a refund for the gig, whose line up included the Happy Mondays, Supergrass and Reverend and the Makers, have not been able to contact organisers or receive any money back.
The festival was launched by Formula One star Eddie Jordan earlier this year but SMR Entertainment cancelled the concert a mere four days before the event blaming the recession and an over-crowded festival market on poor ticket sales, with less than half of the expected 8,000 tickets having been sold.
SMR’s director Simon Jones said last week that everyone would be refunded but that the process was taking longer than expected. He also said a meeting with Ragley Hall last Friday would determine when the concert would be postponed until. Since then he has not been contactable and the Monarchy Live Festival website has been shut down.
Ragley Hall has said that no date had been set for another event.
Happy Mondays bassist Mikey Shine said the group was starting a six-week US tour next month. “I was gutted we did not get to perform in July,” he said. “It would have been the first time we’ve performed together in a while. We have not heard anything about plans to re-schedule the festival, at the moment we are looking forward to our big break in America.”
Other groups have expressed dissatisfaction about how SMR handled the cancellation. Dave Hinett, of international club brand Miss Moneypenny’s based in Birmingham, said: “We were supposed to be doing the VIP area and we were told at the same time as everyone else that it had been postponed. We haven’t heard anything from them since. Fortunately we were due to be paid for it afterwards but it is lost business to us. If it was rescheduled in September they would have trouble getting artists. I’d be surprised if it happened this year.”
Alan Humphreys, who bought four tickets costing £174.95, has threatened court action if he doesn’t hear from the organisers for a refund within 14 days.
He has waited more than six weeks for his cash back. The engineer had an email from the organisers stating he should have his money within ten days. He has complained to Trading Standards, who advised him to write to Monarchy Live, a sub-division of SMR, giving it another 14 days to refund money.
Mr Humphreys said: “I’m very disappointed that I’ve still not had any response from SMR. It’s looking less hopeful that people who bought tickets are going to get a refund. If I don’t hear back from them within 14 days I may have to consider taking my case to civil court.”
Samantha Hands, who spent £350 on six tickets for herself and friends, said: “I’m worried they might be going into liquidation because they’re ignoring all my emails and all my calls. On the occasions when I have got through they’ve just said I will get my money in seven days and that was weeks ago.”
Mr Jones was director of Shirley Aquatics Ltd, which went into liquidation in January, and Investment Property Club Ltd, which was dissolved in May. Birmingham City Council’s Business Insight Group has SMR listed with Credit Safe with a credit rating of 51 out of 100. This indicates to customers and businesses it has good credit worthiness.