Doune the Rabbit Hole festival cancelled amid controversy

The event has faced a number of controversies after being accused of failing to pay artists and technicians in 2022.

Stirling’s Doune the Rabbit Hole festival mired in controversy cancelled after ticket sales suspended Website

A festival, mired in controversy, which was set to take place in Stirling next month has been cancelled.

Doune The Rabbit Hole, Scotland’s largest outdoor camping music festival, was set to return to the Cardross Estate in Stirling from July 21 until July 23.

However, “devastated” organisers announced on Wednesday that the event was cancelled.

They blamed the Bectu union, which claimed that the company still owes “tens of thousands of pounds” to performers and crews who performed and worked at last year’s event and “multiple previous festivals”.

The cancellation comes after ticket sales were suspended on the festival’s website on Tuesday night.

In an announcement, the festival’s organisers wrote: “The team has tried everything in our power to recover from the challenges of 2022 and to produce the event our audience deserves, while making good on our promises to pay creditors from the 2022 event. 

“Sadly, since the start of Bectu’s call for a boycott in June, based on a campaign of misinformation, the numbers are just not stacking up and we have no choice other than to cancel the event. 

“We’ve looked at all options to keep the event on the table, as we know how much it means to all the people and families who have bought tickets, but we just aren’t able to produce the event in the current environment.”

The statement added that Doune the Rabbit Hole had faced “challenges posed by sustained media and social media campaigns spurred on by Bectu, to try and prevent them from going ahead using conjecture, misinformation and rumour presented in bad faith”.

Organisers went on to apologise that they were unable to go ahead with the event, and added that they will be “seeking to take action against Bectu”, including a letter from the festival’s lawyer addressed to the union.

Ticket holders have been urged to contact their bank or credit provider and “explain the situation” to obtain a refund.

The statement added: “In terms of refunds, we must urge you to contact your bank/credit card provider directly to process a refund, explain the situation to them and they should, in most cases, be able to help recover your money. For the next few weeks someone will be checking our email address, so if you have any questions about this process please feel free to email there. 

“Unfortunately, Bectu were among those who forced our hand in saying we would pay ALL of our bills in advance to supply chain companies (whilst simultaneously working in the media to prevent the event from going ahead), as a result we have already paid out almost every single penny of the event’s income towards those deposits. 

“That means the safest and quickest way for our customers to get a refund is to contact their card provider and explain the situation swiftly. The return of Volunteer Deposits has already been initiated, so if that applies to you, you’ll see the funds in your account already.”

Organisers concluded that “this is definitely ‘it’ for Doune the Rabbit Hole”, adding that the festival will not return in the future.

The statement said: “We won’t be back, we can’t be back, so from here we wish you all well and hope you go on to find wonderful new independent festivals where you can continue your voyages of discovery. Goodbye, farewell, and take care.”

Bectu has been contacted for comment.

More to follow...

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