An Open Letter to the Director(s) of Great Northern Festivals Ltd

Subject: An Open Letter to the Director(s) of Great Northern Festivals Ltd
From: Liesa Penman
Date: 26 Aug 2016


The Director
Mr Michael Jinks
Great Northern Festivals Ltd
45 Olav Road
North Yorkshire
DL10 4PU

Friday 26 August 2016

Dear Mr Jinks,

I have never written an ‘open letter’ before, but it is my understanding that you are not bothering to respond to emails or phone calls, so I figured this may be the only way to get your attention.

As you well know, you have a lot of aggrieved clients (including myself) waiting for one of your Company Directors to accept responsibility and provide a suitable explanation about exactly why Great Northern Festivals Ltd is not providing a refund for purchased tickets to the now-cancelled ‘Great Northern Mod and Ska Festival’ which was due to be held at Bedale this Bank Holiday long weekend, commencing today.

The cancellation notification by way of a rather blasé announcement on your website (little more than a week before the festival was due to commence, might I add!) was, in my opinion, not an acceptable means of communication, and certainly did not provide enough notice to those people who had booked time off work, paid for hotels, organised transport, etc. in order to attend the event. And as for the ensuing email distribution addressed ‘To ticket buyers and creditors generally’ stating that “The company has no money available and is unable to honour its commitments. The money received from ticket holders has been used to pay expenses in setting up the Festival, and none of that money can be recovered”, do you really expect everyone to just simply accept your disingenuous justification? Seriously?

It has been proven that your company is still active, and it's also been rumoured that none of the acts who were booked have been paid, so maybe you would like to explain exactly what the hard-earned-cash received from Joe Public’s ticket purchases has been spent on? Could it have helped pay for your alleged holiday to the Canaries earlier this month, perhaps?

It's extremely disappointing, not to mention ethically deplorable, that you couldn't honour your own refund policy, as outlined in your Ts & Cs.

I also found it ironic that your Marketing Manager, Jon Naylor, bragged about your organisational abilities not so long ago when he stated “As some of you may know, the Great Northern Festivals team aren’t new to running this kind of event. We cut our teeth, establishing and running Richmond Live music festival which has grown into an important part of Yorkshires and indeed the UK’s live music calendar.”

What happened, Mr Naylor?

Now, I don't know how to organise a Festival, or how to run a business (and neither do you, it would appear!), however, I would assume that there must have been some indication that things were not going to plan, and surely you would have been alerted to the fact that you should stop selling tickets and start refunding/paying monies owed?

I could also be excused for thinking that it would have been in the best interests of your company reputation (and your clientele) to have had some insurance in place to cover the possibility of it all going wrong. Care to explain why you, the experienced ‘been-there-done-that-got-the-t-shirt’ professionals, didn't explore that option?

I hate to use the F word, but the entire situation smacks of fraudulence.

Sadly, thanks to the ‘skandalous’ behaviour of your company, there will be no ‘hijinks’ at Thorp Perrow this weekend.

I hope you feel suitably ashamed.

Yours sincerely,

Liesa Penman