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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Howard Jones Beverley Folk Festival cancelled 2018 (67* d) RE: Beverley Folk Festival cancelled 25 Apr 18

The organisers may well have made a misjudgement but I think it is unfair to accuse them of commercialisation. This was not a profit-making enterprise run for the benefit of the directors or shareholders.

The question of when a company is insolvent can be complex. One of the tests is being able to pay debts when they are due. For an operation with very cyclical income based around a single event it may be entirely reasonable for its assets to be less than its liabilities at a particular point in time, provided it can reasonably be expected that enough cash will be there when it is needed. What appears to have happened here is that a funder has withdrawn, and the loss of that anticipated income has altered the equation meaning it can no longer expect to meet its liabilities. The directors don't appear to have tried to trade their way out of it, as sometimes happens, but have put it into liquidation as they are obliged to do. Unfortunately this means that those who have bought tickets, probably along with some suppliers, will have to take their place in the queue for any remaining assets. For them (but probably not suppliers) if they have paid by credit card there may be at least a possibility of a refund from their bank.   

I think it is reasonable to ask if some festivals have become too large. Many of them seem to have become large concert events with big-name headline guests which are very expensive to put on, and although they may attract large numbers at premium ticket prices the risk is considerable. The danger is that it develops into an arms-race between competing festivals, and the booking of well-known artists to attract a general audience but whose connection to folk music may be tenuous. If that is what you mean by "commercialisation" then I am inclined to agree, although I'm not sure this applied to Beverley. Personally I tend to avoid this type of festival and prefer small, more intimate events with more opportunities to participate.

Dick, your attitude is highly commendable, but your festival appears to be supported by a large number of sponsors so perhaps the risk is less. Beverley appear to have had too much reliance on a single sponsor and put too many eggs in one basket.

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