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Guest christomandy

rhythms festival cancellation

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I am hugely saddened to have to announce that Rhythm Festivals 2012 can not take place as over the weekend of August 24-26 at the Mansion House, Old Warden Park in Bedfordshire, as planned.

A whole series of glitches and problems made it impossible to carry on. The weather,IT RAINED BUCKETS LAST YEAR AND NOTHING STOPPED the Olympics WHAT? ARE THEY PLANNING MORE IN SHUTTLEWORTH IN AUGUST?, the Jubilee NOW WHAT WOULD THE JUBILEE HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH SHUTTLEWORTH, the economic downturn WE HAVE KNOWN ABOUT THE ECONOMIC DOWNTURN FOR TWO YEARS NOW- HOW THE HELL IS THAT AFFECTING RHYTHMS? WE HAVE ALL PAID FOR OUR TICKETS THE BANDS HAVE BEEN BOOKED, SURELY THIS IS GOING TO COST THE RHYTHM COMPANY MORE TO CANCEL THAN TO CARRY ON?and a dozen other factors, including the "domino effect" of other events not happening WHAT OTHER EVENTS? GLASTONBURY IS THE ONLY EVENT THAT HAS NOT HAPPENED THIS YEAR AND THEY GAVE 2 YEARS WARNING!, all played their part. I fought long and hard to make it work for 2012, but today I have to admit defeat and hope that three week's notice will give you time to make alternative arrangements for the Bank Holiday.THREE WEEKS NOTICE IS NOT ENOUGH TIME TO MAKE ARRANGEMENTS FOR ANOTHER FESTIVAL LIKE RHYTHMS, WE HAVE BEEN THERE FROM THE BEGINNING, WE LOOK FORWARD TO IT EVERY YEAR, YOU HAVE NO RIGHT AS AN ORGANISER TO BLOODY "GIVE UP" AND DISAPPOINT SO MANY PEOPLE! YOU WILL NEVER BE TRUSTED AGAIN! AND SOMEONE ELSE WILL COME I9N AND TAKE OVER FROM YOU AND DO A RUBBISH JOB! JIM, WAKE UP AND SMELL THE ROSES, YOU CANNOT CANCEL FOR THE REASONS YOU HAVE STATED! IF ON THE OTHER HAND SOMETHING PERSONAL HAS HAPPENED AND YOU JUST CAN'T COPE THEN PASS THE REINS ON TO SOMEONE ELSE, DONT JUST CANCEL ALL THE GREAT MUSICIANS AND ENTERTAINERS AND GIVE US ALL BACK OUR MONEY IT'LL COST FAR MORE THAN PUTTING IT ON!

Ticket-holders will be offered a full refund or will be able to use their tickets in 2013. Please give me a few days to sort out a returns procedure and do not send your tickets back yet as we need time to co-ordinate everything and notify the various agencies and outlets. (Anyone who has booked online over the last few days and whose order has not been processed, will receive an automatic refund over the next 5-10 days).WE DONT WANT BLOOMING REFUNDS WE WANT RHYTHMS.

The aim is to postpone the festival until 2013 and we are inviting back the acts who were booked for 2012 and hope that they can make it next year. AND YOU EXPECT US ALL TO BELIEVE YOU? YOU QUIT THIS YEAR ON US, HOW CAN WE BE ASSURED YOU WONT NEXT YEAR?

I really am very sorry that we can't meet up with you at Old Warden Park in three week's time. My team and I really did work incredibly hard to try and make the festival happen, but over the last couple of days it became clear that was impossible.YES RIGHT! WELL PUT SOME MORE WELLY IN IT AND CANCEL THE CANCELLATION! I can only apologize if you took time off work or booked hotels and travel.

I will send another email in a week or so to give more details and to outline the refund process.

I know you'll be disappointed, but believe me, nowhere near as "gutted" as I am.

IF YOU WERE THAT GUTTED YOU WOULDN'T BE DOING THIS, WHAT HAPPENED TO THE FIGHT ON BRIT SPIRIT!!!

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I understand you're pissed off that the festival has been cancelled, but the simple factual errors within your comments in red are too numerous for me to be bothered to address. ;)

You can be sure that Jim would not have cancelled unless there was no other option.

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It took me a while to comprehend the original post. I was reading it as if it were one person posting in black writing and the same person writing in red. I was wondering down the lines of the poster being schizophrenic. Now I know it's just me that's doolaly! So that's OK then.

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I understand you're pissed off that the festival has been cancelled, but the simple factual errors within your comments in red are too numerous for me to be bothered to address. ;) You can be sure that Jim would not have cancelled unless there was no other option.

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Surprising announcement considering this posting on these very forums from not much more than a month ago:

"We planned Rhythm Festival to start slow and build up. It's year seven and we're still building! I aim to sell out a few times at 5,000 before even thinking about going for a bigger capacity. This year we've sold more tickets now than we've ever sold at this stage since we started. Fingers crossed for a sell-out…

Ticket sales are funny this year. Some festivals, like us, are doing better, others are doing a lot worse. I'm afraid that a few more festivals will be biting the dust before the summer's over (if it ever gets started). Not Rhythm Festival, I hasten to assure people - we're already passed that hurdle."

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Perhaps, but the reasons provided were appalling non-reasons. The sort of mealy-mouthed nothingness you'd expect from Gideon Osborne. Blaming the Jubilee and the Olympics? Oh come on.

Do you have the inside skinny on the real reason for the cancellation?

Nope.

I'd guess that the email is like it is because he's grasping for a firm reason when there's nothing that it's able to be pinned properly on. (And he's probably not in the best place head-wise at the mo either, which I'm sure wouldn't help his words come out well.)

That's just about the story of this summer all round festival-wise. There doesn't appear to be any single reason for why some festivals have been successful (some more than they've ever been), while others have had big struggles. From where i'm sat I've not been able to identify any theme for the successes and failures which gives a reasonable explanation.

I've just been having a conversation with another well-established festival, who's been telling me that while the fest is definitely going ahead it's going to lose a lot of money and so might be the last one, which of course would be a big shame. It's not good out there for many festivals this year. :(

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Thanks, Neil for your level-headed comments. As for Christomandy and Spartacus Mars, well, where do I start?

Sad that when the festival was going ahead no one felt obliged to post a single positive comment, but when you're down and on the ground and ready for a good kicking…

There are many reasons for having to cancel and, as has already been shown by the initial post and Spartacus Mars' follow-up, there's no point going into too much detail because most people don't understand the simple explanation. As for "not having the guts to carry on", I've not noticed too many others taking the huge risks and time-devouring commitment it takes to run a festival. Or carry the huge losses I've made over seven years.

This year was different, it wasn't simply about losing money. There were a couple of dozen other factors, all of which would have made the job ten times harder - as well as much more expensive. It would also have been a poor festival and not as enjoyable for everyone as I would want. I wonder if Christomandy would have been the first to complain if I had gone ahead?

I should add that I have received over a hundred emails of support from ticket-holders and just two (including one from the OP) that are in any way negative. The one good thing to come out of this is to know that Rhythm Festival attracts a great bunch of people.

Surprising announcement considering this posting on these very forums from not much more than a month ago:

"We planned Rhythm Festival to start slow and build up. It's year seven and we're still building! I aim to sell out a few times at 5,000 before even thinking about going for a bigger capacity. This year we've sold more tickets now than we've ever sold at this stage since we started. Fingers crossed for a sell-out…

Ticket sales are funny this year. Some festivals, like us, are doing better, others are doing a lot worse. I'm afraid that a few more festivals will be biting the dust before the summer's over (if it ever gets started). Not Rhythm Festival, I hasten to assure people - we're already passed that hurdle."

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Hi Jim

So sorry to hear it was necessary to cancel. I completely understand your reasons of course, but after six successive years, and all your hard, hard work it really is such a shame. It is very sad. I've already had several messages from people on our mailing list all of who feel the same way and they too appreciate how difficult this decision must have been for you.

These are hungry times indeed and we've seen two other festivals go down this year for pretty much the same reasons that have forced your hand. I got a message from the Damned today saying that this is their THIRD festival loss in just a few months.

I've enjoyed every Rhythm Festival since 2005 and so have my family - my kids were 2 and 3 years old at the first one and it was their introduction to the wacky world of Rock n Roll ...thanks for that Jim!!

Anyway, chin up and think of all the money you'll save on TMTCH booze!

Cheers

Phil 'Swill' Odgers (The Men They Couldn't Hang)

www.twitter.com/swillodgers

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Actually, I do feel quite sad about this cancellation- it's a nice friendly festie and had a strong line-up this year - here's rooting for next year! Get Hawkwind. The Beat & The Damned again and we'll def be there!

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There are many reasons for having to cancel and, as has already been shown by the initial post and Spartacus Mars' follow-up, there's no point going into too much detail because most people don't understand the simple explanation.

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How to lose a lot of money - move into music and festival promotion. It's a brave person who has a go and I'm grateful to them all. Some work and some don't but rarely with those that don't is it for lack of trying.

I'm sorry for those who are disappointed but well done Jim for trying your best.

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Sadly, this has been a very strange year - most especially festivalwise. I also don't think it's just about money - I think a number of unexpected factors have conspired to happen all at once! :(

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So what were they? If you simply did not get the ticket sales you wanted that was all the explanation needed. But I'm just kind of curious as to the last-minute unforeseen and expensive hurdles that arose. I'm not trying to bait or accuse you - this stuff is actually interesting to me.

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Sorry to hear this Jim, I hope it doesn't put you off for 2013

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Thanks for the explanation Jim, it sounds like a nightmare. :(

Best of luck for next year. The festival world wouldn't be the same without Rhythm.

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Just to say I am not a mealy mouthed moaner as some would like to presume, I HAVE posted words of encouragement over the years and have NEVER made complaints at all. It just seems very strange to me that along with the cancellation, the web site and forum have been downed, so I had to make my comments here. Yes it's extremely disappointing that the festival is cancelled, but the real reason is what is required, Jim is not dealing with people who don't care here. I care a lot and apologise if I have hurt feelings, just so late in the day to cancel when 3 weeks ago all was well. To dismiss my comments as insignificant and rubbish is extremely rude and patronising, if you can't take the heat.....etc. what happened between three weeks ago and now? why canm you not give an honest reply?

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I have just read some of the reasons and apologise for getting heated with you. NOW I can understand what happened, shame you didnt tell us earlier Jim, I'm sure some of the people who actually come to your festival could have helped rather than see you cancel, you should have given us a bit of a chance before giving up. Not to fret now we know the real reasons we can empathise, but rem,ember Jim, we are here for you as you have been for us over the years, theres a lot of intelligence and industry in your festival goers, if this nears happening again ASK FOR OUR HELP!

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It just seems very strange to me that along with the cancellation, the web site and forum have been downed, so I had to make my comments here…

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We've really enjoyed attending the Rhythm Festival over the past few years and will miss it this year but that sounds like nothing really in comparison to the pressures that you've been under, Jim! So sorry, it can't have been easy .

I can fully appreciate that you've tried as hard as you possibly can but there comes a point where you have to make that decision that enough is enough.

All the best

x

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It seems that everyone we know have been experiencing unexpected probs this frigging year. A little suggestion, Jim, reconfirm a couple of the great artists booked for this year then start a deposit/installment scheme for 2013 ;)

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Sorry I didn't ask for opinions on this forum. I'll know next time where to find the experts!
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Hi Rhythm Fest fans, I have been prompted to write in support of Jim in the wake of the generally hostile earlier posts. I share everyone's disappointment and frustration that the festival has been cancelled, I have been a fan since day 1and attended every Rhythm Festival, enjoying the friendly, family atmosphere not to mention the great music. When it had to move to Shuttleworth I was was very happy as it is within walking distance for me, I contacted Jim following last years concert and offered my support to promote the event locally and try and overcome any opposition - there has been quite a lot from local people objecting to noise and traffic, in fact this year Central Beds Council was going to be monitoring noise levels. Having just experienced the plug being pulled on Springsteen in Hyde park I was not keen to have a similar experience in Bedfordshire.

Having witnessed Jim in action since last year I am convinced that his life revolves around the festival and he can't be doing it for the money. Ever since the end of RF in 2011 he has been dealing with the criticism about real ale and toilets to ensure a better experience in 2012, the biggest problem, the weather is beyond his control. God knows how much time he has spent booking the bands and dealing with suppliers, local authorities, venue and publicity. His whole life seems to be focused on making it a success and I have watched him tirelessly travelling around pubs, clubs and relevant leisure centers within a 50 mile radius of Biggleswade distributing posters, flyers and drumming up support; as well as fly posting and putting up signs on road junctions. The bottom line is that for the reasons he has articulated all this activity was not translating into ticket sales, his only real source of revenue. My own experience locally was that there was tremendous good will but "we will book nearer the day when we can see what the weather is like" is not a strong business case. Having been involved with organising a couple of Blues festivals in the adjacent village it is the ultimate nightmare - fixed costs to pay but but slow bookings that are not enough to cover them. This coupled with the unprecedented call for money up front from bands and suppliers must have made Jim's position completely untenable.

I do hope that it will be possible to resurrect RF for 2013, but it wont be easy, and I do agree that there must be a lot of untapped expertise and support out there from the loyal RF fans. Maybe a bigger push using social media and word of mouth to promote Rhythm Fest, but this must result in much higher advance ticket sales - that is the challenge, come on everyone lets rise to it!!.

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I've only just seen this thread having been busy organising last weekend's (very successful) Wickham Festival. I'm appalled by some of the comments directed at Jim who is one of the good guys on the festival scene. I can only sympathise with him on the problems he faced because I know what it's like to face such problems. He would not have cancelled without good reason and I hope those who supported Rhythm in the past will do so again in the future.

Certainly all of us involved with the Wickham Festival wish Jim and Rhythm well and if there's anything we can do to help Jim then help him we will.

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