Blissfields cancelled due to poor ticket sales

United Kingdom United Kingdom | | 03 June 2008

The three-day festival was due to take place at Matterley Bowl, Winchester for the first time this July after organisers decided it had outgrown its previous site at Bradley Farm, Hampshire.

However the event, which was set to be headlined by The Whip, Roni Size Reprazent and The Wonder Stuff, will no longer go ahead and those with tickets will be refunded.

A statement released by the festival reads: "Due to lower than expected ticket sales, we have made the decision to call off Blissfields Festival this year.

"We are truly sorry to those of you who have bought tickets, as well as all those who were ready to buy in the coming weeks. Thank you all for your support this year and we hope you will be with us in years to come, as we believe in what we do and want to continue supporting great music through our activities. You will all get a full refund including booking fee. Please bear with us over the period this takes to happen. You will get back all of your money, we promise!

"We are devastated to be in this position and could not have foreseen it, as we had planned an amazing weekend, and have had a very positive response from everyone we have talked to including the press, who have seen the quality we were offering this year. With such low sales, not only are the financial burdens for ourselves incredibly high but we would also not have been able to put on an event with the atmosphere and passion that we wanted our festival goers to have. After all the planning, such a drop in quality for you was not an option and the only decision open to us after seeking much advice was to can it off and minimise the pain to everyone involved. This was not a decision taken lightly and has involved much heartache and tears from us and the volunteers who put this event together. We cannot fault in any way the organisational capabilities of all involved and know that with the right sales in tickets we could have put on a joyous event this July!

“Blissfields has always been family-friendly and run by people who care about putting on a great event without major financial or commercial backing. For many reasons as below, this year has proven to be very difficult to make happen.

" - The economy is so obviously hurting most people and even those still going to festivals may well have cut down on the number they are attending; anecdotal evidence whilst talking to people would seem to indicate this. One major festival cancelling this year already has cited this as the major cause, and we understand there may be more.

" - The weather has not helped and we understand how it can be difficult to plan a weekend when it might mean spending it in the pouring rain. Images of last year's washed-out events and some already this year, do not help.

" - This year in particular, there may just be too much choice and those who love festivals have nine major events on the same weekend as us in the south of England alone.

"Our festival was done very much for love, which is why we plan to come back next year and put on an event that fans will really appreciate. As always, it will reflect the cost of putting on an event of this type, which is not cheap but we'll do our best to make it very affordable like this year. All the bands and agents suppliers and stalls have been so positive and encouraging and want to see us continue, we hope you do to!

"We are all hurting at the moment and have a lot of work still to do due to this decision and therefore cannot look too far into the future. We will let you know of our plans to continue with Blissfields festival in due course.

"Once again we would like to offer our sincere apologies to you all and thank you so much for choosing our event out of so many wonderful music festivals.

"Best wishes and we hope you are able to have a great alternate weekend at one of the other amazing festivals that are going on this summer, Paul and Mel Bliss and all at Blissfields.

"We are sorry if anyone close to the organisation is hearing for the first time from this message but the news has got away from us as we have tried to contact everyone individually."

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Blissfields was set to be The Whip's first headline appearance. - Photographer: Shirlaine Forrest

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