News: Bloc Festival
Update: festival promoters Baselogic go into voluntary administration, fans may not see money back
THE PROMOTION company behind last weekend’s cancelled Bloc music festival has announced its move into voluntary liquidation.
A statement appearing on the Bloc festival website, which you can read below, leaves thousands of ticket holders uncertain as to whether they will be reimbursed for the price of their tickets.
As reported in a post about CrowdSurge’s statement from earlier today, some of the ticket revenues will already have been ploughed into operational costs and artist fees — it’s currently thought that most acts received all of their money up front — meaning fans will potentially be unlikely to see a full return on their investments.
The latest news could spell more misery for fans as, under UK law, liquidators are first to receive payment from the company’s assets, effectively draining the pool of funds available for fans to get their money back.
Here’s the Baselogic statement in full:
“It is with great sadness that we announce Baselogic Productions (who you all know as Bloc) has been placed into administration following the events of Friday evening. The team are working hard with the administrators to investigate the issues that led to the closure of the event and people will be updated as and when we have new information. We ask that you allow the administrators time to conduct a thorough investigation so we can establish the facts.
Once again we would like to apologise for all of the frustration and disappointment this situation has caused and thank everyone who has supported the team over the years, your continued support means so much to us.
Please see below a press release from Parker Andrews, the appointed administrators.
Parker Andrews appointed administrators for Base Logic Productions Ltd t/a Bloc
On 11 July 2012, Baselogic Productions Ltd trading as Bloc voluntarily entered administration. The appointed administrator is Jamie Playford of Parker Andrews Insolvency Practitioners. An investigation into the facts leading to Baselogic Productions and the administration will be conducted immediately by Parker Andrews and a further statement will be issued in due course. Jamie Playford said: “It is important that we understand the full facts including what funds will be available to creditors and ticketholders and to ensure the information we provide about the next stages of administration is clear and concise”.”
While we wait for more updates on the situation as it develops, here’s the original post from earlier today with details of CrowdSurge’s statement:
THE COMPANY behind the ticket scanning system used at Bloc has moved to distance itself from the problems which led to the festival’s closure last weekend, reports CMU.
In a statement issued today, CrowdSurge notes that its system remained in full working order throughout the event, adding that all ticket payments were handled by promoters Baselogic in accordance with festival organisers’ wishes, meaning fans may not receive full refunds after all.
Among the many problems reported at the cancelled two-day festival in London, one issue which cropped up repeatedly was that fake tickets could easily be printed up because of a flaw in the barcoding system.
The Teknoids blog points out that by taking the HTML code out of e-tickets and changing one number in the barcode URL, punters could manufacture additional tickets with different barcodes, because the numbers went up sequentially and were therefore guessable.
So if a number of people showed up with the same barcode, only one would be authenticated by the scanning system, meaning legitimate punters would be turned away if arriving after counterfeit ticket holders.
That explanation would go some way towards explaining the horrendous queues at the front gate on Friday. It would also shed light on the decision to abandon scanning of tickets altogether, presumably to ease crowding problems outside the venue but in effect transferring the problem to the site itself.
A statement from the company says: “The number of tickets sold for the event on Friday 6 Jul was 15,796 – a figure far short of the 18,000 capacity placed by the festival organisers and the 30,000 posted by London Pleasure Gardens. Throughout the process Baselogic controlled the amount of tickets sold and this was at the discretion of Baselogic, not CrowdSurge.
“CrowdSurge were advised to ‘shut down’ scanners at 21.27pm on Friday 6 Jul 2012, whilst the queuing barriers were reorganised. At this point 8,000 people had been given access to the site. The entry gates were reopened and scanning and personal searches ceased as per the request of Baselogic and London Pleasure Gardens staff. At no point throughout the scanning process did the scanners cease to operate.”
CrowdSurge CEO Martyn Noble told CMU: “It is evident that there was a combination of factors causing the cancellation of the Bloc Festival on Friday evening. The decisions taken had personal safety as the prime concern and as a result, personal injury was averted. We are immensely disappointed for the fans, the artists and festival organisers that the event was cancelled and will work with Baselogic and third parties to establish ‘what happened and why’ throughout their investigation. We sympathise with the frustration caused in lack of detailed statement coming forward from a variety of parties which is creating angst among fans waiting for refunds and an understanding of what went wrong.”
The bad news in all of this is that punters are less likely to see a return on their investments. Baselogic will already have surrendered some of the ticket money on artist fees and operational costs, meaning it’s doubtful they be able to stump up the full amount required to reimburse frustrated ticket-holders. Industry insiders expect the company, which is currently investigating the causes of the festival’s closure with venue London Pleasure Gardens, to move into administration at some point.