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'I'm sorry' - Woman behind cancelled festival offers customers £100,000

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The organiser of a cancelled festival has issued a tearful apology to ticketholders and promised she and her business partner will relinquish claims to more than £100,000 of their own money so customers can be refunded.

Acts including The Vaccines, Hot Chip, James and the Editors were due to entertain thousands at the new Wide Skies And Butterflies festival at Raynham Estate this weekend.

But organisers pulled the plug on the event a month ago citing slow ticket sales and high costs, and their company has gone into administration with estimated debts of more than £600,000.

They have remained tight-lipped since, leaving ticketholders scrambling to contact the ticketing agency, banks and the insolvency practitioner to try to recoup tickets costs of up to £200 per person.

We sat down with Wide Skies CEO Samira Williams, who was visibly upset as she told her customers: “I’m sorry. I’m absolutely devastated.

“None of this was intentional. I don’t know how to convey how awful I feel about it. It is a lot of money, I know. That kind of money was a lot in my house growing up.

“I would rather they got their money back, I don’t want any of mine. I can’t speak for him but I know Sam [business partner Sam Booker] would say the same.

“There’s a hundred thousand [pounds] of ours sitting there and we don’t want it, we want it to go to the ticketholders who’ve lost out.”

More than 3,000 tickets were sold for the event and while some customers have received money back from the ticketing agency - where applicable - or from their banks, others will have to wait to see how many pennies in the pound the administrators can find to return to them.

Gary and Ami Reynolds, from Thorpe Marriott, paid £154 for a one day pass to see the Editors at Wide Skies. Their credit card company has warned them their refund is not yet confirmed. - Credit: supplied

Ami Reynolds, an NHS worker from Thorpe Marriott, said: “My husband and I were going purely to see The Editors because they haven’t done any UK tours in so long.

“We’ve been key workers throughout the pandemic and this was the first treat we’d been looking forward to.

“We’ve had a refund from our credit card company but only on the proviso no-one disputes it for 45 days so we still can’t touch the money and we’re worried someone will ask us to pay it back.

The 37-year-old went on: “We’re cross. We didn’t actually........

© Eastern Daily Press

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