Music fans chase refunds as popular festival is axed

    Rising costs of staging quality event force cancellation

    Forgotten Fields

    Festival fans were yesterday left scrambling for refunds after the sudden cancellation of the popular Forgotten Fields event in Eridge.

    Following the announcement on Monday night people took to social media to vent their frustration and express their disappointment. Others said they were already booking alternative festivals for this summer.

    With a line-up including indie stars Suede and rapper Dizzie Rascal, the 4,000-capacity boutique festival, which was due to be hosted in Eridge Park from August 5-7, was aiming to recapture the success of its debut last year.

    Tickets had been selling from £99, meaning the organisers could have expected to make a minimum of £400,000 from sales.

    It is not known how many tickets have already been sold and last night the organisers were not responding to media enquiries.

    The news comes a week after the announcement that another popular music festival, Local & Live, will be scaled back this year because of debts.

    The company behind Forgotten Fields is From the Fields, based in Manchester. It also runs Bluedot Festival, Kendall Calling and Live From Jodrell Bank. Ben Robinson is the company director.

    Organisers used the festival website to blame ‘rising costs’ for their decision to pull out of the event.

    They said: “We are hugely saddened to let you know that Forgotten Fields 2016 is no longer going ahead.

    “It’s with heavy hearts that we let you know news of this cancellation and would like to thank you for your support of the event.

    “Due to the rising costs of producing a quality event of this size, we are unable to produce a show that is of the standard both our team and customers would be proud of.

    “After thorough consideration of the event and exhausting all options we have sadly reached this conclusion.

    “We had a truly amazing time and weekend to remember in 2015, lifelong memories shared with lovely people in the fields.”

    A spokesman for Eridge Park, which is owned by the Marquess of Abergavenny, said: “We are of course extremely disappointed that the organisers have decided to cancel this year’s festival. Last year’s festival was a superb event enjoyed by thousands of people in the beautiful countryside of Eridge Park.”

    Ticket holders have since been given the option for either a refund on the face value of the ticket or a like-for-like ticket swap for Standon Calling, an affiliated festival in Hertfordshire.

    The social media reaction to the news was mixed, with several people expressing anger that they had bought tickets in good faith and now needed to seek a refund.

    Marianne Pope said on Facebook: “You have got to be kidding? This is ridiculous!! Only the other day you told me you were sending the tickets to me!! I can’t tell you how much I was looking forward to this!”

    However, the majority of people expressed sadness at the news.

    OTHER HAPPENING EVENTS…

    There is still plenty to get excited about in Tunbridge Wells this year with Alfresco Festival making its debut in the south at Colebrook Lakes near Knights Park over the May Bank holiday.

    At the same time there is Unfest running from May 22-25, showcasing eclectic acts across several venues in the town.

    Bedgebury will host concerts by Tom Jones and the Kaiser Chiefs on June 17-18.

    A scaled-back Local & Live will take place over August Bank Holiday, and the increasingly popular Livestock Festival is at Penshurst in September.