Hop Farm Festival will not return in 2015

The troubled Hop Farm brand put to bed

Photographer: Sara BowreyVirtual Festivals on 24 September 2014

Hop Farm Music Festival in Kent, founded in 2008 by promoter Vince Power, has had its fair share of difficulties over the years but its future looked saved when it was taken over by a new management earlier this year. Neil Butkeraitis ran the 2014 event, back in July, through UK Events and Production, his specialist music and entertainment company, and UK Security Services and Products Ltd.

Kent Messenger today reported that the company, created specifically for the Paddock Wood event, Hop Farm Music Festival Ltd, is to be the subject of liquidation proceedings at the High Court of Justice next month.

Mr Butkeraitis was a director of all three of the Nottingham-based firms, and resigned from the latter on September 10, the last of the three directors to leave. He told Kent Messenger financial disagreements behind the scenes, meant that contractors were left unpaid, including his own firms.

The festival will not continue. It is cursed ground." Butkeraitis told the paper. “In 10 years in the industry this has never happened to me.

The event was delivered under our £3million budget. What didn’t stick up was ticket sales but the festival was part of a three year plan for the site.

“Even though everyone locally enjoyed the festival and we had some big acts lined-up for next year and now three of my companies look like they will go into liquidation.

“I’m absolutely gutted. The festival will not continue. It is cursed ground.”

Mr Butkeraitis did add, however, that he was looking into setting up another festival in the area.

Hop Farm Music Festival started life in 2008, and over its first five year run featured performances from the likes of Prince, Eagles, Bob Dylan, Florence and the Machine, Morrissey and Suede. Originally owned by Kent Festivals Ltd. and managed by founder Vince Power, the group went into administration in 2012. The following year Power tried unsuccessfully to resurrect the festival, before a new management company came in to revive the ailing Hop Farm brand. This year’s Hop Farm Festival took place from July 4-6 2014 and featured performances from The Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson, Kinks frontman Ray Davies and Grace Jones.


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