I don’t know an awful lot about directorships and the like. I’m a simple sole trader kind of girl. But I know when I smell rats. The last minute cancellation of this festival, and how the organisers have tried to lay blame at the feet of the establishment (which I’d love to be true – you know me), when it very much looks like they fucked up deliberately, is odd to say the least.
It always felt odd, but I got involved because one of those helping out is a mate, and he’s sound, if slightly naive about what he gets involved in, plus the desire to stay out of trouble on Jubilee weekend was, sadly, rather strong. We’ve all also got to try and scrape a living.
Anyway, I’ve been snooping and it all seems a bit wrong in a rich boy vaguely legal scam sort of way. So let’s start with Jamonit Events – the organisers of The Last Jubilee – and their director details.
The registered address is:-
C/O ASHWORTH & CO OLD FAIRFIELD,
DULVERTON TA22 9NL
though on their website it says it’s:-
Mendip Business Park
The director is one Michael John Wilkins, who is also director of Last Jubilee Ltd and Somerset Chilli Ltd, all of which are registered at the above c/o address, and all of which were registered on 12th March 2012.
That same address also has eight registered directors (ignore the Dr and Mr. Willis, they’re of different addresses, but with the same postcode) though, if you look at the list, it actually looks like 4 people at most, all of which have the surname Ashworth.
One of them (or possibly three of them), Michael Grahame Ashworth, has no less than 39 directorships/company secretary roles, 1 of which is currently in liquidation, and 15 dissolved. Lots of them are tiny, some appear never to have traded, though some have had big turnovers that haven’t lasted. Some of them are registered at the above c/o address, others in Essex. Interesting stuff anyway.
Jeremy Sellick, frontman among the Last Jubilee organisers, also has a dissolved business from the same c/o address from 2006 called West Country Larders Ltd . The secretary was the very same Michael Grahame Ashworth. There are also a couple of other Jeremy Sellicks with the same month and year of birth who had companies in the late 90s in Berkshire and London that are now dissolved.
We were taking The Something Else Tea Tent as the acoustic third stage with several acts booked. We weren’t informed that the event was cancelled and had to read about it on the racecourse website and the local rag. Pissed off much?!
We were told that the event was sponsored by a food and drinks company, yet they couldn’t furnish requests on average food prices with an answer? This and more is covered on Black Flag’s article about the whole fucking mess. We were also told that we couldn’t sell our own tea, but they would provide it free of charge. We weren’t going to say no to freebees, but we sell over 20 types of tea. Then we were told that we couldn’t sell coffee at all. We requested that they supply us coffee if they liked, but not selling it is quite ridiculous and not negotiable. I’m guessing now that they’d have attempted to price fix us, too.
The urge to pull was great, but we’d got acts booked, a lot of which had also agreed to play the cancelled Chilli Festival. We’d agreed to be there, so figured we’d try and find a way around it with them.
I offered my paperwork weeks ago and asked for a trader’s form as we sell drinks and cake, but apparently it wasn’t required. I did point out that, much as it’s nice to do everything DIY and outside of the system, that in the real world if all paperwork for everything wasn’t in place that the council would come down hard on them, but what do I know. I’ve only been working the circuit with a venue for 5 years and never went to public school.
We were also supposed to be on the Chilli Festival, too, which Jamonit were organising for the weekend before, then it was cancelled. Then it reappeared for the same weekend as this one at the same venue?! I did relax as it got to this week, though, and while rumours flew about how bad ticket sales were – 300, then 900, I was assured it was double the latter. Even though that figure wasn’t brilliant, and I know some acts who were offered less money over the last couple of weeks because of it, ( Sicknote were binned off the line up for daring to negotiate! ) we figured we’d have a laugh in our anarcho hole and with several newer political punk/folk acts performing.
I’ve read several reports of folks going to the racecourse today and there not being the slightest sign of a festival there. No stages, marquees, lighting, fencing, signs..not even a bog. They clearly knew before this morning that it wasn’t going on.
If I had a theory, it would be that Jamonit Events deliberately held back on polishing their turd so as to blame the establishment for their own incompetence. Now I’m over unorganising 50 odd artists and crew, stock orders etc etc, and over losing money, I’m glad that we’re not part of this scam.
No doubt some bands will bitch about contractually expected dosh and how they could have been somewhere else and all that jizz, but surely the biggest concern at the moment is that the punters get their hard earned dosh back, booking fee et al.
Get rich quick scam? Tax dodge? Whatever it is, if they decide to dissolve these companies, then no-one gets their dosh back. So if you bought tickets, for fuck’s sake act quickly.
And to the organisers – your websites are shit, your organisation skills are shit, and it’s very possible that your chosen target this time is going to get you some of the shit you deserve. Fuckers!