by Andrew Trendell Staff | Photos by WENN

ATP defend themselves against refund claims and PR lawsuit

The Jabberwocky saga rumbles on


ATP defend themselves against refund claims and PR lawsuit Photo: WENN

ATP have issued a statement following the highly publicised last minute cancellation of Jabberwocky festival - and the ensuing criticism that followed. 

The London event was due to take place this weekend, but was cancelled just days ago due to ticket sales being too low for the event to go ahead. The festival would have seen performances from Neutral Milk Hotel, James Blake, Caribou, Forest Swords and many more. 

In the days that followed, organisers ATP came under fire after fans' struggled to attain refunds from them or ticket supplier Dash - and details became public of the festival's former PR agency Zeitgeist suing them for unpaid services (read that below). 

Responding to the latest developments Zeitgeist founder Jamie Stockwood said: "It's good of ATP to finally respond on this matter. It would appear that our company, the ticketing agency, all suppliers and all the disappointed fans were wrong about Willwal Ltd.

"Even their partners have distanced themselves from the situation. This is a matter for the courts now but we are sure the overwhelming recent media coverage and ongoing investigations will ensure the good will out."

ATP's latest statement is as follows: 

"In the past 72 hours there have been many accusations thrown at ATP and some so vindictive that we feel it necessary to defend our position.

"Firstly, the claim that ATP has received all the funds for Jabberwocky is not true. We have not received a payment from Dash for more than two months. Any advances from the sales before that, went straight into event costs such as various artist fees and venue hire. But we have not received all the funds for Jabberwocky sales from Dash, and for them to make statements on their social media saying we have in fact received all these funds is simply not true. If that was the case, then we would not have struggled to stage the event.

"As per their Terms & Conditions at the time Jabberwocky went on sale, we were always under the impression that in the event of a cancellation; all refunds would be processed by Dash, as the funds were sent directly to Dash's PayPal account - not ATPs. Since then, Dash's Terms & Conditions have changed on their website without our knowledge, well after Jabberwocky was on-sale, in an attempt to reflect no responsibility for the payments accepted into their PayPal account."

"We know you are angry, and quite rightly so as you are hearing contradictory information concerning the source of your refunds - we are NOT trying to pass the buck, but any funds we did receive from Dash are tied up in the cancelled event and we too have lost considerable amounts of money. But we are petitioning Dash and working closely and restlessly with Paypal to ensure all customers receive their full due amount.

"Secondly, the PR firm we originally engaged for Jabberwocky, Zeitgeist, felt it was necessary to announce to the world that they were taking legal action against us. What they neglected to mention was that we actually terminated their services for doing a disappointingly substandard job on the Jabberwocky press campaign and are in a legal dispute with them over the amount owed. When we dismissed them, they also started circulating rumours that Jabberwocky was in trouble, which of course did not help with advance sales and unfortunately, became a self-fulfilling prophecy.

"We are trying to get everyone refunded as soon as possible and honour all bands agreements. We have tried to assist in organising shows this weekend so all the door money goes to the artists to help pay their fee due for Jabberwocky and ensure that they are not out of pocket. The rumours that we stopped a band from playing a show because of a contractual obligation is also untrue. They assure us that they had not confirmed a show with another venue and were happy to book a show assisted by us in order to help secure their immediate expenses for the weekend and go towards the original fee that they were offered, which is being honoured.

"If people want to continue slinging mud at us, we can't stop them, but we would ask that you pause to think about what it takes for a company of our size to continue to exist in the current music climate, and question if you really believe that there was some machiavellian intent to rip off music fans that we have given so many years of our life to, whilst trying to survive and deliver quality shows. If anyone out there says they believe in what we do; now is the time to support us more than ever, rather than letting others try and kick us while we are down.

"We are devastated the event didn't happen. It has always been a dream to finally get together two of our long time friends - Pitchfork & Primavera - and Jabberwocky was to be this dream realised. We have all worked tirelessly for almost a year on this, and so of course, tried absolutely everything in our power to stage it right up to the very moment that there were no options left other than this absolute last resort."

Below, read the message issued by Zeitgeist PR regarding their legal wranglings with Jabberwocky and ATP:

"Further to the recent confirmation from ATP about the cancellation of the Jabberwocky Festival this weekend, we as a company would like to distance ourselves from both the event and the promoter of the event - Willwal Ltd (ATP).

"Willwal Ltd have failed to pay us for several months. We have tried hard to overcome this situation and find solutions, but Willwal’s representatives have revealed to us in writing that they used the funds destined for us in order to protect payments for venue and artists, rather than settle essential and agreed amounts to our company. It would appear that Willwal Ltd has been experiencing and is continuing to experience cash flow difficulties. We had a great campaign and as a trusted and respected contact we wanted you know to know that this situation has nothing to do with any wrongdoing by The Zeitgeist Agency Limited.

"This situation has left our company with no alternative but to pursue Willwal Ltd by instituting legal proceedings on the 20th July to recover the substantial debt, to which Willwal Ltd have not responded. This is a course of action which as you can imagine, we have been very reluctant to take.

"We love the industry we are in and feel for everyone else who’s been affected by this mess, from the fans to the bands, to the media that trusted our word and gave great coverage.

"For and on behalf of The Zeitgeist Agency Ltd"

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