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High Definition promoter in liquidation after second aborted event

By | Published on Thursday 27 August 2015

High Definition Festival

I think it’s fair to say that when it comes to festivals, the Hop Farm may indeed be cursed. Another company has gone into liquidation after attempting to stage a festival at the Kent site.

As previously reported, live music veteran Vince Power’s Music Festivals plc struggled to make its Hop Farm Festival a long-term commercial success, with that business ultimately collapsing. An attempt to resurrect the event in 2013 was cancelled, and then Power fell out with the owner of the actual Hop Farm, so that for a time it looked like there would be two Hop Farm Festivals in 2014, one on the Hop Farm, the other run by Power elsewhere. Only the former actually happened, though the company behind it subsequently hit the wall with its promoter calling the Kent farm “cursed ground”.

But when dance music festival High Definition fell out with the owners of the Tunbridge Wells park where its fifth edition was due to take place in July, it announced that it would be shifting to the Hop Farm with new dates in September. Then earlier this month the firm behind High Definition seemingly fell out with the owners of that site too, in a dispute over whether or not the promoters had met all their licensing requirements, and the take-two version of the 2015 event was also axed.

And now that company is going under. According to the Kent & Sussex Courier, organisers have sent out a message to ticket-holders that reads: “Due to the actions of The Hop Farm last week it is with great regret that the directors have taken the decision to cancel all future events. The decision is beyond their control due to the action of third parties and the impending insolvency of the company. Professional advice has now been received in this respect and steps to place the company into liquidation have been taken. Notice of the creditors’ meeting under Section 98 of the Insolvency Act 1986, to place the company into Creditors Voluntary Liquidation will be shortly issued”.

Ticketholders are advised to seek a refund from their bank or credit card company, or they can opt to swap their tickets to the cancelled festival for a ticket to one of three other events taking place in September. Meanwhile, what the future holds for High Definition long term is far from clear. Though I’d guess no return to the Hop Farm.