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East Anglia festival on brink of liquidation

PUBLISHED: 06:00 26 January 2013 | UPDATED: 09:26 28 January 2013

Photograph Simon Parker 2/6/2012
 Festival revellers during the Play Fest music festival at Eccles Hall School watching The Big Pink

Photograph Simon Parker 2/6/2012 Festival revellers during the Play Fest music festival at Eccles Hall School watching The Big Pink

Archant

A Norfolk music festival described as a “breeding ground for new talent” is on the verge of going into liquidation after being hit by the wet weather last summer.

Playfest, held at the New Eccles Hall near Attleborough, felt the brunt of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee weekend and a spell of wet weather in June, which impacted upon ticket sales.

Last summer’s event was the second festival organised by directors Oliver Rogden and Oliver Sear, featuring more than 60 music acts including Ash, Feeder, the Pigeon Detectives, and Ria Ritchie, as well as a number of unsigned acts.

But Jamie Playford, insolvency practitioner at Parker Andrews, said the creditors were unlikely to recoup any of the £170,000 owed by the company.

A creditors meeting will now be held between Parker Andrews and the directors on Tuesday February 12 where the festival is likely to announce that it has gone into liquidation.

Mr Playford said: “The reason Playfest didn’t do as well last summer is partly weather related and the fact that it clashed with the Jubilee weekend so they didn’t sell as many ticket as they were hoping to.

“The camping tickets started off selling well, but then didn’t sell as well in the last few weeks. Meanwhile, the day tickets fell off a cliff because very few sold in the last few weeks, which hit their profits.

“There won’t be any return for the creditors. The only assets the company had were for ticket sales and they were used before the show for booking the acts and paying for the deposits for the lighting and the stage hire.

He added: “A lot of the acts were paid in full up front, but some of the acts are still without money – either themselves or their agents. “A security firm is also owed some money by Playfest and an electrical company for the generators and lights.”

Playfest attracted 2,500 people to its debut festival in 2011, which included 45 music act from dance, indie and rock.

But despite bolstering its number by another 1,500 last year, the organisers were still unable to break even.

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