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Looe Music Festival cancelled after charity enters administration

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The organisers said the charity behind the three-day event that was due to take place this month has ‘ceased trading and is in the process of going into administration’

One of Cornwall’s most popular music festivals has suddenly been cancelled.
Organisers have announced that they have pulled the plug on the sold-out Looe Music Festival just two weeks before it was supposed to happen because the charity behind it has gone bust.

A post on the festival’s Facebook page says: “We are very sorry to announce that this year’s Looe Music Festival is cancelled. The charity that delivers the event has ceased trading and is in the process of going into administration.

“We will release more information in due course.”
The festival’s website makes no mention of the cancellation and says all tickets have been sold out.

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The three-day festival was due to fill the town and its beach with music from headliners The Stranglers and Thre Waterboys as well as the likes of Mad Dog Mcrea, The Correspondents, Bez (Happy Mondays) DJ Set, Uncle Frank, Gaz Brookfield and the Company of Thieves, and Wille and the Bandits between September 21 and 23.

Last year the line-up included The Undertones, Reverend and the Makers, The Jesus and the Mary Chain and Lulu.

Fans have reacted with shock and sadness on the festival’s Facebook page.

In November Cornwall Live contacted the organisers of the festival after being told by several artists that they had not been paid for their performances last year. The Charities Commission website stated that the festival was 46 days overdue in providing information on its finances. No response was ever received.

At that time the Companies House website said it could be struck off the register within two months and dissolved.

Companies House website now states that Looe Music Festival Ltd was dissolved on January 30. It had been incorporated on August 26, 2016.

Its director and secretary was Tanya Brittain and Mark Frederick Joce was also a director.

Companies House also has a listing for Looe Music Festival as a ‘charitable incorporated organisation’ but has no further information about it.

Its trustees are listed on the Charities Commission website as Mr Joce, Ms Brittain, Dr Alan Young and Lorna Dickinson.

The Looe Music Festival had 1,200 visitors the first year it got off the ground eight years ago and most of them were locals.

Almost a decade on and the event attracted 9,000 live music fans keen to listen and dance to more than 90 bands on six stages.

The original festival was thought up by a group of Looe residents in a pub on a cold December evening in 2010 to see what could be done to boost the local economy.

It is estimated that with visitors spending on average £140 per person per night on coming down to Looe for the festival, including transport costs, tickets, accommodation, food, drinks and souvenirs, the music festival pumps about £2.4m a year into the local economy. That’s £20m or so in the past eight years poured back into the town.

Yet the festival makes no money and remains dependent on arts grants. All cash made from the festival is used by the community interest company which organises it to put on the event, attract big name acts, pay for security, marketing and the like.

The three-day weekend festival has seen the takeover of the beach and town centre. Stages appeared on the sand and throughout the streets as vibrant celebrations bring the place and its local community to life.

The Looe Music Festival has been a springboard for many bands who have gone on to greater things, including bands from California, Canada and South Africa, where there has been a Cornish diaspora and strong connections to Cornwall.


Originally published as ‘Looe Music Festival has been cancelled after charity behind it went bust’ for PlymouthLive on 03/09/2018 Source

Paul Allott is a director and co-founder of Event Industry News, Event Tech Live and the Event Technology Awards.
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