May 24 2013 Latest news:
Nick Ames, Reporter
Tuesday, August 7, 2012
Extra funding requests
Music Festivals, the company behind the Hop Farm Festival which this year featured Bob Dylan and Peter Gabriel, has warned it expects to make a loss in 2012 and needs extra funding.
The Paddock Wood event has established itself as part of the UK’s summer circuit and is aimed at older rock fans with big name acts from the1960s, 70s and 80s frequently headlining.
Last year Prince, The Eagles, Lou Reed and former Smith’s frontman Morrissey all played sets.
Music Festivals, which also owns the Feis Festival in London and Benicassim and Costa de Fuego events in Spain, said it has been hit by weaker than expected ticket sales.
The company, run by businessman Vince Power, admitted that artists such as Peter Gabriel, Ray Davies, Suede, Patti Smith and George Clinton failing to draw crowds to Kent, despite Glastonbury taking a break this year.
It added that Benicassim, which draws a younger crowd and focuses on live indie rock, pop, rap and electronic music acts, made a profit but it was less than that recorded last year. The statement read: “The Group’s two main festivals were held in July 2012 and as set out in the announcement dated 3 July 2012, tickets sales at that date led the directors to believe that the Group’s financial results for the year ending 31 December 2012 would be significantly lower than market expectations.
“The Group was particularly impacted by weaker than expected ticket sales at 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, 2012, and is exploring ways of raising additional working capital,” Music Festivals said.
Staged for the first time in 2008, the Hop Farm event was nominated at the UK Festival Awards that year for Best New Festival. At the time it was a 30,000-capacity festival centered around folk and independent music, with no sponsorship or branding. Children aged under 12 are still granted free entry.
In Music Festivals’ latest annual results, to December 31, 2011, the company saw pre-tax profits of £795,624 on revenues of £13m.
The shares fell 20.8pc to 9.5p when the latest figures were announced.
But there is better news for the company about two dates organised for Leonard Cohen. Tickets for Saturday September 8 have now sold out for the singer songwriter’s appearance at A Day at The Hop Farm.
This follows the addition of a second date due to extraordinary demand on Sunday September 9, which are now the only tickets available.
Power said: “The demand has been overwhelming and it’s fantastic to see the Saturday sell out. These will be Leonard Cohen’s only UK dates this year and we’re over the moon he’s decided to play them here. Sunday tickets are selling fast so fans need to get them while they can.”