Memories of Woodstock collapses in a Heep

The Memories of Woodstock festival scheduled for next weekend in Shrewsbury has been cancelled.  The promoter had put together a very strong bill for lovers of progressive and classic rock, including Asia, Uriah Heep, Barclay James Harvest, Jethro Tull, Mostly Autumn, Wishbone Ash, Jefferson Starship and Curved Air. Unfortunately the chosen weekend clashed with both the Cambridge Rock Festival and Fish’s fan convention in Leamington Spa.

Some people had doubts about the promoter after another event at the same venue headlined by Fairport Convention was cancelled at very short notice due to poor ticket sales. Things started looking dicey when a number of bands pulled out a couple of weeks ago, most citing “circumstances beyond our control”.  Uriah Heep were a little more forthright.

Uriah Heep has withdrawn from headlining the Memories of Woodstock festival, 7 August 2009, after concerns emerged about the intent and the ability of the festival to deliver public safety, financial viability or the basic logistics needed to present a festival of lofty ambition.

We are advised that all ticket purchasers are entitled to a refund as the festival terms and conditions do not allow for changes of artists.

This led to a war of words in the press, with the promoter complaining about false accusations and threatening legal action. Since that quote is still on front page of Uriah Heep’s website, I can assume that no legal action has materialised, so it’s safe to reproduce it here.

Uriah Heep have since been added to the bill for the Cambridge Rock Festival, replacing Jefferson Starship, who’d also withdrawn from MoW, and whose UK visit was no longer financially viable for only one appearance.

On Friday, Jethro Tull and Mostly Autumn both pulled out. An email from Jethro Tull’s management circulated widely on the forums of various bands pulled no punches.

“Tull are now officially out of the MOW festival due to the promoter being 2 months late with the deposit (not to mention the balance)! Despite many extensions of payment dates from our end and the offer to reduce the artist fee this week, Brian Davies (promoter) has just told me that he cannot pay. I believe that it is due to terrible sales and his lack of financial planning.

Please can you pass this e-mail onto anyone that you think might benefit from knowing. He assures me that he will reimburse buyers back if they so wish. His phone number is on his New Dawn Events website.

We at the Tull camp are very angry at Brian Davies for stringing this along for so long. We are sorry for all those fans who were expecting a whole weekend of great bands, most of whom, have now pulled out for the same reasons”.

By now the writing was pretty much on the wall, so it was hardly surprising when this appeared on the New Dawn Events website

Its with a very heavy and sad heart that due to certain people telling blatant lies these festivals have been cancelled. It is a sad case of affairs when people think of money before love and peace” – Brian Davies

It is with huge regret that we have to notify that the Memories of Woodstock event and Crathes Castle event are now Cancelled.

The Memories of Woodstock  project  was the brainchild of Mr Brian Davies who wanted to celebrate the 40 years anniversary of the best music festival in history. Unfortunately there are people in this world who do not share this vision.

Rumours that had been put out and circulating regarding this festival were completly fabricated and scurrilous which resulted in poor ticket sales and eventually led to the cancelling of this great event.

During the current economic climate we felt that we should give the public a festival that would give absolute value for money, however, it  is obvious there are people out there who do not wish this to happen, but we will strive forward on a mission to give the public what they should always have and that is…   “Great music at a great price with no hidden extras”.

I don’t think there are any winners in this sorry tale, with the possible exception of the Cambridge Rock Festival, who are now offering discounted entry for holders of MoW tickets.

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2 Responses to Memories of Woodstock collapses in a Heep

  1. Tim Hall says:

    Ah yes, I think I read that one this afternoon, Paul – this one is going to run and run. I’m wondering whether to ask Bryan Josh about it at Cambridge, or to discretely not mention the subject. Mostly Autumn seem to have decided not to get drawn into online slanging matches.

    But there’s absolutely no pulling of punches from Barclay James Harvest’s management:
    http://www.bjharvest.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=1741

    Bands aren’t usually willing to go into details of why things fall through – with both JLBLH and Tull being so forthright, you can tell they’re really angry over how they’ve been treated by this promoter.