Surrey-based festival Guilfest announced yesterday that it had gone into administration, following poor ticket sales for this year’s event. The news came just a day after Vince Power’s ‘Music Festivals plc – which owns the Hop Farm and Benicassim festivals, amongst others – also called into the administrators.
In a statement on the Guilfest Facebook page, parent company Scotty Events said: “Scotty Events Ltd regret to announce that Guilfest has ceased to trade due to poor ticket sales at this year’s event in July. We assess that this was down to the worst weather conditions we have experienced in history of the festival, combined with intense competition presented this year from other events. On-going matters now lie in the hands of the insolvency practitioner Leigh Adams LLP”.
Guilfest was launched in 1992 and, though reasonably small with a 20,000 capacity, has become a key fixture on the UK festival calendar – arguably being the first specific ‘family-friendly’ festival to hit the market.
Speaking to the BBC, founder Tony Scott said that poor ticket sales this year – due in part to locals holding off buying tickets in order to see how the weather turned out – had left the festival with debts of £300,000.
Scott said: “It rained on the Saturday and Sunday in 2011, but this year I’ve never known anything like it. It was a quagmire by Saturday and [by] Sunday it had turned into sticky bog. [Plus] there was a lot of competition this year. The Olympics were on, a lot of people were going to that. Farnborough Air Show was on the same weekend as us for the first time this year. There was Tom Jones playing up the road at Sandown Park, Bruce Springsteen was playing in London, and there was an awful lot going on around our weekend, as well as the bad weather”.
He added: “I’d love to see Guilfest keep going, but I think it’s got to be somebody with deeper pockets … to make sure it goes through”.
SIGN UP HERE for free CMU music news in your inbox every week day with the CMU Daily