UK: Y Not/Truck Festivals, BBC E-Sports

UK’s Y Not/Truck Festivals Under Fire

Y Not Festival
Max Miechowski / Fanatic via
– Y Not Festival
during Stereophonics

Two Global-produced UK festivals – Truck Festival in Oxfordshire, July 21-23, and Y Not Festival in Derbyshire, July 27-30 – received bad feedback from partner companies and festivalgoers after weather dampened both events.

Weather conditions were miserable at both, which were bought by Global last year and organized under new auspices for the first time in 2017.

Y Not even had to cancel the entire program on Sunday, July 30, “due to the adverse weather conditions across the weekend, after consulting all the relevant authorities,” as organizers state on the festival’s website.

The statement continues: “The safety of our guests, performers and crew is our primary concern and the potential risk was too severe for Sunday to go ahead. We are very sorry for the disappointment and disruption caused to everyone who was looking forward to the final day of the festival. We understand that people will have questions about refunds. We will be giving all our guests further information about this over the coming days.”

Things started out well for a sold-out Y Not (25,000 capacity) on a sunny Thursday and performances by FeederLiam Bailey and The Skints.

But the weather drastically changed on Friday, causing headliners The Vaccines to pull out. “Sorry, sorry, sorry about last night. Were all ready to come out and play for you when we were told it wasn’t safe,” the band tweeted.

Clean Bandit cut its set short on the same day, and Saturday’s shows by Stereophonics and Jake Bugg had to be rearranged, according to The Guardian.

The last festival day had to scrapped entirely. The weekend before, Truck Festival celebrated its 20th anniversary with a sold-out capacity of 13,000. Rains turned the festival site, Hill Farm in Oxfordshire, into a mud bath, but no shows were canceled.

Franz FerdinandThe Libertines and The Vaccines headlined the festival. Hill Farm owner Alan Binning told the Oxford Mail that the site would take months to recover, claiming “most of the damage was caused after the event, with tractors moving in to rescue commercial vehicles stranded in the mud churning up the ground.”

Binning added he was “unhappy with the increasingly corporate approach,” which resulted in charities that have traditionally been selling food at the festival having their takings slashed because of the introduction of more commercial vendors.

Angel Gardens, the company running Truck’s play area for children, told the paper that “staff arrived to find they had just a quarter of the space they had expected.” The limited space resulted in the field muddying up much quicker, and “staff were not allowed to make requests for support from the festival production team unless it was ‘an emergency’ and so were unable to ask for straw or clippings to absorb the mud.”

The festival also earned criticism by festivalgoers who had chosen to pay for their tickets via a monthly payment plan. At least two people told The Herald that a Truck employee informed them that all but their last installments had been received. And since it festival policy that “tickets would be released with no refunds if any payment is missed,” they didn’t receive their tickets.

Both festivals’ Facebook pages are laden with negative comments about the general event organization: lack of security and staff and bad preparation for rainy weather were common themes. Revelers also reported a large number of combined thefts at both events. Others took to Facebook to emphasize they had a great time despite the adverse conditions. Pollstar requested comment from Global. 

A Y Not representative provided Pollstar the following statement: “We were extremely well prepared for the festival this year. We increased spend by 30% on last year’s event and invested heavily in infrastructure including trackway, traffic management, on-site staff, water, toilets, washing facilities and we had an enhanced police presence. 

“Unfortunately due to the extreme weather conditions throughout the weekend we took the difficult decision to cancel the festival on Sunday morning. We share our guests’ frustration and disappointment but ultimately the safety of our guests, performers, and crew was our primary concern and the potential risk was too severe for the event to carry on.”

BBC Live Streams E-Sports League

The BBC has signed the Gfinity Elite League Series One, and will stream four hours of live e-sports coverage from London over the coming weeks.

In total, 160 professional gamers are competing in three games – “Street Fighter” on Fridays, “Counter Strike” on Saturdays and “Rocket League” on Sundays.

The broadcasts can be seen on BBC Three’s website and on the company’s iPlayer. Players gather in London’s Gfinity Arena, which is located at the Vue cinema in Fulham Broadway.

The BBC will broadcast all competitions including the finals on the Sept. 1-3 weekend. The total prize money amounts to £225,000.