Folk In The Foreground

With the investigation into the ticket company collapse that may have cost the event £618,000 ($1 million) rumbling on in the background, Cambridge Folk Festival took the chance to remind people how it gained its international reputation in the first place.

It was the usual 10,000-capacity sellout crowd July 30 to Aug. 2. The local Cambridge Evening News, which is usually the first to break the festival’s bad news, was one of the first to herald it as a huge success.

Lucinda Williams, The Zutons, Los Lobos, The Saw Doctors, Booker T., Paul Brady, The Waterson Family, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Oumou Sangare and Eddie Reader were the main attractions at Cherry Hinton Hall.

Since the announcement of the potential £618,000 loss, there’s been another that the Co-operative Society is the new headline sponsor. The local city council, which runs Cambridge Folk, wouldn’t comment on what the deal is worth.

Unfortunately, whatever the amount, it’s not new money as it’s only replacing the funding that came from previous sponsor BBC Radio 2.

Unless Nick Simmonds of Tenon Recovery can find a way to recover any money from either the shell of the company or the directors that took it down, the famous university city’s taxpayers will be faced with filling the festival’s financial holes. Tenon is the insolvency expert sorting out the demise of Secure Ticket (UK).

Simmonds told Pollstar his investigation into Secure Ticket (UK) is ongoing and that “solicitors have been instructed,” but did not comment on whether that meant any evidence of wrongdoing had been uncovered. He did confirm he will seek more information and company documents from the period immediately before the collapse.

The Cambridge local authority – along with Retrofest and Musical Associates (UK) Ltd – were among the ticket company’s first clients.

It went bust in January and within a year of having secured their business, losing all the ticket money it had collected on their behalves in 2008.

The Secure Ticket (UK) directors claimed the company went down and the Cambridge money, which came via a payment collection agency, was lost because it was mistaken for a similar amount the company was expecting from investors, which later fell through.