Bloc Festival goes into administration
There have been further developments in the aftermath of last weekends Bloc Festival chaos. While the holding company behind the festival, BaseLogic, have today "entered voluntary administration", the ticketing agent for the event have also issued a statement detailing the events of last Friday night from their perspective.
Firstly, the statement from BaseLogic on their current situation reads:
It is with great sadness that we announce Baselogic Productions (who you all know as Bloc) has been placed into administration following the events of Friday evening. The team are working hard with the administrators to investigate the issues that led to the closure of the event and people will be updated as and when we have new information. We ask that you allow the administrators time to conduct a thorough investigation so we can establish the facts.
Once again we would like to apologise for all of the frustration and disappointment this situation has caused and thank everyone who has supported the team over the years, your continued support means so much to us.
While administration would seem the only logical way for BaseLogic to go following the shut down of the 3 day festival mid way through its first night of operation, there will be a chance that both artists and punters will be left short changed by the decision. Acts from across all three days will still expect to receive their appearance fees, they did after all have expenses themselves for getting to London to attend the event, while ticket holders will be expecting a full refund on their £55 tickets. One would imagine it hard to pay the artists if there is effectively no ticket revenue and given that hire for the venues and operation costs will have been paid in advance, it is quite possible those bills will have swallowed up all the funds generated from the pre-sale tickets.
It will most likely depend on how much money is left in BaseLogic's bank account and what, if any, assets can be liquidated by the administrators that will determine who gets paid and how much. Jamie Playford Parker Andrews Insolvency Practitioners said: "It is important that we understand the full facts including what funds will be available to creditors and ticketholders and to ensure the information we provide about the next stages of administration is clear and concise."
Meanwhile, Crowdsurge have issued the following statement that would seem to rule out overselling of tickets as the reason behind the overcrowding which led to the festivals closure. While the online ticketing company are sympathetic in the extensive account of the events it does mostly read as a huge buck pass on their behalf placing the blame firmly in Bloc/BaseLogic's court.
The full statement from Chairman and CEO of Crowdsurge, Martyn Noble reads as follows:
Role of CrowdSurge
CrowdSurge was contracted by Baselogic (Bloc) to provide an ecommerce mechanic for the sale and promotion of a variety of ticket types from within The Bloc 2012 website. This involved CrowdSurge providing an online software purchasing application; an e-ticketsolution; box office management and site entry scanners. Other third parties were contracted to manage on site security, access management and site stewarding.
Venue Capacity & Tickets Sold
London Pleasure Gardens advises a capacity of 30,000 people, however this can vary dependent upon how event organisers may wish to utilise the features and staging on the whole site. Throughout the event planning stages of the event, Baselogic carefully analysed the site capacity as a whole and as individual showcases to site afinal capacity figure of 18,000 people for each day of the festival.
The number of tickets sold for the event on Friday 6th July was 15,796 – a figure far short of the 18,000 capacity placed by the festival organisers and the 30,000 posted by London Pleasure Gardens. Throughout the process Baselogic controlled the amount of tickets sold and this was at the discretion of Baselogic, notCrowdSurge.
CrowdSurge were advised to ‘shut down’ scanners at 21.27pm on Friday 6th July 2012, whilst the queuing barriers were reorganized. At this point 8,000 people had been given access to the site. The entry gates were reopened and scanning and personal searches ceased as per the request of Baselogic and London Pleasure Gardens staff. At no point throughout the scanning process did the scannerscease to operate.
Each ticket includes an individual barcode and number generated by the CrowdSurge system. That barcode and number is linked to a unique customer order and ticket. As with any electronic ticket, there is possibility that these can be copied or printedmultiple times, however duplicates or copies would not be recognized by thescanners on site and the person producing the falsified-ticket & barcode would not have been given entry to the site through the scanner access points. Each individual barcode only admits one person per ticket, at which point that barcode is no longer ‘live’ and access cannot be gained to the event.
A small number of e-ticket issues were escalated to CrowdSurge throughout Friday and all related to either printer issues or scanner operator error. In each of these cases, fans wererequired to produce valid ID to prove that they were the legitimate purchasers of the tickets. There was no evidence of fraudulent ticketing operations.
The purchasing process opted for by the festival organisers was one of a direct payment to Baselogic through their own merchant service provider. CrowdSurge at no time held or currently retains any monies for tickets purchased through the Bloc Weekend website.
It is evident that there was a combination of factors causing the cancellation of the Bloc Festival on Friday evening. The decisions taken had personal safety as the prime concern and as a result, personal injury was averted. We are immensely disappointed for the fans, the Artists and festival organisers that the event was cancelled and will work with Baselogic and third parties to establish ‘what happened and why’ throughout their investigation. We sympathise with the frustration caused in lack of detailed statement coming forward from a variety of parties which is creating angst among fans waiting for refunds and an understanding of what went wrong.
What ever happens next we just hope that those entitled to refunds and artists are taken care of and lessons have been learned so future events from all promoters don't suffer the same fate.