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Fears over the future of Hop Farm festival

Concerns deepen after Leonard Cohen cancels shows

Photographer:Sara Bowrey

Rebecca Laurence - 24 August 2012

Concerns have been raised about the future of Hop Farm festival in Kent, after veteran performer, Leonard Cohen pulled out of two scheduled dates at Paddock Wood earlier this week.

Moving the dates to Wembley, Cohen's website said: "Due to unforeseen circumstances, Leonard Cohen's two shows at Hop Farm, Kent on 8 and 9 September will no longer be taking place at that venue. However, Cohen will know be performing at a new London venue on the same dates."

Hop Farm organiser, Vince Power, apologised to fans in a statement:

"I would like to apologise to all customisers who have already bought tickets and hope they can still enjoy what are going to be two amazing shows at Wembley Arena."

So what, if anything does this mean for the future of the festival? As local website, Kentnews.co.uk reports, it may be another disconcerting sign, as earlier this month, Music Festivals, the company behind Hop Farm and Spanish festival, Benicassim, issued a statement to shareholders regarding poor tickets sales.

The statement read: "The group was particularly impacted by weaker than expected ticket sales at the Hop Farm Music Festival which was loss-making. The Benicassim festival continued to be profitable but at a much lower level than 2011.

"As a result, the group currently expects to report a material loss for the year ending December 31 and is exploring ways of raising additional working capital."

Other factors, including poor weather leading up to the festival, increased competition and a line-up without the pulling power of last year's Prince appearance have all been considered as contributing to poor ticket sales.

Hop Farm festival organisers have so far refused to confirm whether the event will take place in 2013.


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