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Collapse of Common People fests takes Bestival team’s debts to more than £6m

15 February 2019

ECHOING THE vows of angry creditors of the failed Bestival (cap, 40,000) and Camp Bestival (25,000) events (see LIVE UK issue 227), companies owed money by last month’s collapse of the two Common People (30,000 each) festivals say they will do tougher deals with the festival sector in future.

The limited companies running the events, which took place in Oxford and Southampton and were run by the same team as Bestival and Camp Bestival – headed by Robert Gorham, aka Rob da Bank, and his wife Josie, folded with combined debts of £811,368.

Overall debts across the three companies and four festivals amount to £6,632,202, with the total owed to third parties, after removing inter-company loans, being £6,071,310.

Common People creditors include DJ Grindle (due £23,297), Live Trackway (£14,638) and NuKleen (£16,247).

“This is why we don’t look for festival business that much,” says Chris Beale, director of Pinnacom, which is owed £13,921 and provided networking systems and cashless infrastructure at both sites.

“The festival industry has always been about goodwill. Extending credit lines the way suppliers do for festivals would be unacceptable with any other business.”

A supplier, who wished to remain anonymous says, “We lost the entire amount. We want to support small festivals, but it’s made us more cautious we’ll ask for 50 per cent pre-payment in future.”

Another says, “We were helping them out, so the fee was less, but then we weren’t paid at all. That meant all the staff wages and fuel to do the gig came out of our pocket.”

See the full story in sister publication Festival, issue 38.

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