Following news yesterday that Maitreya Festival would not go ahead this year, the local council of Buloke Shire have hit out at organisers’ claims weather was to blame. Citing the festival’s lack of organisation or proper permits as the real cause, the council posted to Facebook contesting the comments of organisers.
Maitreya broke the news yesterday to ticket-holders, explaining in their original statement via Facebook that they had to cancel the event due to “circumstances beyond their control”.
This statement was short lived however, organisers deleting it and posting another blaming the weather for the cancellation.
Buloke Shire weren’t have a bar of that though, taking to Facebook themselves to dispute organisers’ version of events. According to them, the promoters had no choice whether to cancel the festival or not, as there was no food, sound or power on site.
“Even before [today] it was clear the Festival would have been unrecognisable this year,” the post read. “Not only had nearly all the food vendors pulled out but the partly constructed toilets wouldn’t have been serviced and the security and fire protection contractors had withdrawn.
“Previously contracted sound and lighting companies had decided not to attend, but that is probably a moot point because the rental companies providing power and other facilities are removing their generators and light towers from the site,” it went on, also reporting that the festival’s insurance company had cancelled its policy.
The trouble all started when, according to the Buloke Shire Council, organisers failed to submit the required documentation in order to secure the proper permits. Instead of calling it quits then though organisers decided to host the festival with no approval at a new site, ‘down the road’.
As you can imagine the authorities weren’t too impressed with that, Victorian police and Country Fire Authority warning punters to stay away. Meanwhile the St John Ambulance service also withdrew from the event.
“We’re staggered that despite failing to obtain the most basic permits organisers are determined to push ahead,” John Bigham of the Country Fire Association said. “It’s simply irresponsible to hold such a large event without even the most basic services including water, toilets, showers, medical care or fire management services.”
At the time of writing Maitreya organisers have yet to announce how ticket-holders can obtain a refund for the festival, which has Live Performance Australia (LPA) a little concerned. Issuing their own press release the live performance industry peak body has called on the promoters and ticketing company to advise consumers on how they can seek a refund.
LPA Chief Executive, Evelyn Richardson, said, “While neither the festival promoter nor the ticketing company are LPA members, we are very concerned to see today an electronic music and lifestyle festival cancelled and consumers not being advised as to where they can get refunds. Under Australian Consumer Law, consumers are entitled to a full refund when an event is cancelled.”
The body that administers the Ticketing Code of Practice for the live performance industry, the LPA promote ‘best practice’ across the industry in order to protect consumers and the reputation of the live performance industry.
While Maitreya are not LPA members, the LPA believes that all ticketing companies should comply with the Ticketing Code of Practice to protect consumer confidence in the industry.