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Drive Like Jehu’s ATP festival cancelled

By | Published on Monday 18 April 2016


Although ATP’s Stewart Lee-curated festival did go ahead this weekend, Drive Like Jehu have confirmed that their already drastically changed edition of the event – due to take place next weekend – will now not go ahead.

Following rumours over the weekend of various acts pulling out and then of full cancellation, Drive Like Jehu frontman John Reis confirmed this morning that the festival had indeed been cancelled.

As previously reported, the event had already been moved from Pontins in Prestatyn (where the Stewart Lee event took place) to Victoria Warehouse in Manchester. Despite those changes, Reis said agreements with bands had not been met, leaving them unable to play, and punters who bought tickets for the original holiday camp event had not been provided with the promised hotel rooms in Manchester.

Showing little sympathy for the ATP organisation, Reis began his statement: “After four months of a long and bumpy ride, the wheels finally fell off the wagon and crashed and burned. A search party was sent to Monkey Island to scan the wreckage for survivors and only found Barry Hogan/ATP collecting bits of luggage and body parts for his next show ‘ATP 3.0 The 90s Deconstructed’. Tickets on sale now at”.

He continued; “It’s a uniquely cruel hoax to appeal to Drive Like Jehu’s ego and ask us to create a programme based on personally inviting the bands and musicians that have inspired us and changed the way we hear music and then subject them and their supporters to this”.

“We really wanted this show to happen more than anything. It had all the makings of a legendary weekend. We were so committed to seeing this through that we remained hopeful (blind in retrospect) amongst the ritualistic turmoil and crisis and trusted [ATP management’s] solutions that would ensure that the show would definitely go on and the attendees would be treated fairly and the bands would be respected and celebrated”.

Noting that he had largely gained information about his event’s future in the same way as the public – sifting through internet rumours – he added: “48 hours ago word started to trickle in that Barry hadn’t honoured his agreement with many of the bands. These bands were not cancelling, but rather did not have the promised means to attend”.

“It was only then revealed that ATP was unable to honour the agreement with the ticket holders that purchased accommodation. ATP is out of funds. ATP offered to postpone the event until November as a solution. No thanks. We looked into trying to salvage the weekend by putting on our own free show in Manchester. But at this late date, no suitable venue is available”.

As previously reported, doubt was first cast on the future of both of this month’s ATP festivals last month when Pontins put chalets at its Prestatyn park on sale on the weekends the music events were due to take place.

Initially the holiday company said that the promoter had cancelled the festivals. Then ATP said that they were going ahead and everything was fine. Then, eventually, it emerged that ATP had missed some payment deadlines with Pontins, which is where the problem lay. It was subsequently confirmed that the first event would go ahead at the holiday camp as planned, but that the second would relocate to Manchester, presumably in the hope of finding day-ticket buyers.

Following Reis’s Facebook post, ATP HQ also confirmed the Manchester event had now been axed. It said: “All Tomorrow’s Parties 2.0 curated by Drive Like Jehu will no longer be going ahead. After working through all options, including moving the event from Prestatyn to Manchester, we have had to accept defeat due to its lack of financial viability. We would like to apologise to everyone involved, especially to our customers who were planning to attend the event. We would also like to extend our gratitude to the curators and artists for their involvement, and we are so sorry that we will not be able to stage this event”.

Despite Reis’s comment that “ATP is out of funds”, the promoter insists that all ticket monies will be refunded and, more than that, that the festival firm will compensate any ticket-buyers with travel or accommodation costs that cannot be reclaimed from the actual provider.

Meanwhile, the promoter was keen to stress that none of this affects the planned ATP Iceland festival, though you have to think that this latest cancellation is surely the nail in the coffin for the ATP holiday park events in the UK, which organisers had already brought to an end before the recent attempts at a revival.

A UK tour by Reis’s other band Swami John Reis & The Blind Shake has also been pulled, due to the ATP cancellation, as have two other standalone ATP shows headlined by Soulside and The Gories later this month.