THE company behind the annual Truck Festival has gone into liquidation, we can reveal.
Last week we reported a hole in the finances of the event, which attracted 7,000 music lovers to Hill Farm, at Steventon, near Abingdon, last month.
Yesterday organisers Joe and Robin Bennett confirmed the festival has gone liquidation, as it also emerged a number of acts had not been paid.
In a statement, the brothers said: “Steventon Events Limited, the company which runs Truck Festival, has gone into liquidation.
“Insufficient final ticket sales and revenues over the weekend have combined to force this outcome in what is a very difficult festival market.
“We would like to apologise to all those affected, including contractors and performers who have not received their fees.”
The announcement does not affect the other events run by the Bennett brothers, including Truck America, eco-festival Wood in Ipsden, and OX4 in Oxford’s Cowley Road.
However, Robin Bennett did not wish to comment on the future of those events.
He said: “On a personal note, we are devastated after such a well-received event, which was a success on many levels.”
Mr Bennett said charitable and community groups had raised substantial funds at the festival.
Friday-night headliners Bellowhead were among the groups that have not been paid. John Spiers, from the band, said: “It is inconceivable Joe and Robin Bennett did not consider this might have been the outcome of the festival, given the pre-sales and state of the accounts.
“I can’t help but feel a little betrayed by fellow musos who I really trusted for not levelling with us and giving us the opportunity to choose the risk for ourselves.”
But Mr Spiers said even if he knew he might not be paid, he would have wanted the band to play.
He said: “Truck Festival is an absolute asset to South Oxfordshire.
“I am proud that I come from the area that can put on a festival with an atmosphere that most others would give their eye-teeth for.
“Despite what has happened I still believe that they should continue with all they can in the same vein, because it is the right thing to do.”
Stuart Macbeth, band leader of the Original Rabbit Foot Spasm Band which also performed, said the band’s invoice for the festival had not been paid, but the group had decided not to add themselves to the festival’s list of creditors.
He said: “We want the festival to bounce back and succeed because we enjoy Truck tremendously.”
Ian Nolan, whose company InEvents has managed the event for the past three years, said while he had been paid the bulk of the money owed, there were outstanding additional costs paid out on behalf of the festival which ran to thousands of pounds.
He said: “We are going to do everything we can to ensure our staff and contractors are paid all the money that we are owed.
“Everyone is really saddened by what has happened.”