The Doune the Rabbit Hole Festival was abruptly canceled, leaving artists and staff to take responsibility

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Doune the Rabbit Hole has been cancelled

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Photo credit: Conall/CC from 2.0

The Doune the Rabbit Hole festival was canceled as organizers were unable to pay artists and contractors, prompting a statement from BECTU and other unions.

Scotland’s Doune the Rabbit Hole festival, due to take place between July 21 and 23, has been canceled after organizers were unable to pay artists and contractors, prompting affiliated unions BECTU, The Musicians’ Union and Equity prompted comment .

“In recent years this festival has amassed well over £1million in unpaid bills to bands and staff (£800,000 in 2022 alone). A lot of people, including last year’s headlining bands, received nothing other than their deposits,” the unions said in a statement. “In some cases, bands are owed tens of thousands of pounds with no hope of receiving their final payment and this year’s cancellation will impact even more bands and staff.”

“As unions we tried to have a constructive dialogue with the organizers of the festival, but the promises we were offered have not been kept. “The organizers said they were sharing the sales figures to assure us that they would make enough profit this year to start paying off the debt from the previous festival,” the statement continued. “They stated their intention to repay this debt over a period of three years. They have provided no such information and the obligation to repay this debt is now in jeopardy.”

The unions’ statement relates to a radio interview on 8 June on Good Morning Scotland, in which Craig Murray, one of the festival’s organisers, explained that Doune the Rabbit Hole ticket sales reached £5,000 a week, but a ticket sale of £ it takes 25,000 a week to reach his goal.

Since then, festival organizers have stated that they would not issue any refunds to ticket holders cancellation of the event. A statement published in Doune the Rabbit Hole website claimed that a “misinformation campaign” by BECTU and other unions had caused ticket sales to drop significantly and forced them to cancel, despite “evaluating all options to keep the event on the table”.

“For him to try and put the blame on the unions and by extension the people who work so hard at the festival every year was incredibly disappointing,” countered the unions’ statement. “We had agreed with the organizers that they would offer a 100% deposit upfront to those considering collaborating with the festival, but Craig reiterated that this has not been done, again to those who have agreed had to perform and collaborate at this year’s festival will be left out of pocket due to the failure of those organizing the event.”

“As unions we were concerned that last year’s festival could go bankrupt and bounce back so quickly because so many of the same faces were involved, and that concern has been confirmed this year by so many of the same issues .” The explanation ends. “We urge all members affected by the termination to contact their union and will provide any assistance possible.”

The event took place at the Cardross Estate last July after being canceled the previous two years due to the pandemic. The company was liquidated in December and is now controlled by Festival Food Beverage and Property Services Company.