I AM one of many who bought tickets at £30 each for the Chichester Festivities Fireworks Finale (five tickets in fact), the cancellation of which in July appears to have resulted in the entire Festivities company going into liquidation and consequently ticket holders facing loss of their money.
It was the intention of the company that the fireworks event would be rearranged for the end of September, but the decision to wind the company up is apparently based on ‘costs incurred’ from the postponed event. A number of questions need to be answered:
-Who took money for the cancelled event? They should be named and shamed as the money must be significant
-Why did the company not arrange cancellation loss insurance? (for over 30 years the event never got cancelled, so the premium would have been low and added to the ticket price)
-Why has the company given up on the new event without even advertising it? (a number of people I know did not buy tickets for the original event as the weather was doubtful, but would buy for the rearranged event, for example)
-Did the company consider reducing the acts slightly, number of fireworks etc to bring the event into line?
-Have the sponsors actually been consulted to see if they could assist (including the Observer of course and Chichester Council) as this must be a source of embarrassment for them?
I believe the fireworks event could and should have been re-run, and it would have been a significant success – instead all ticket holders have lost their money due to a company who just could not be bothered to organise the new event. In addition, unless ‘Chichester Festivities 2013’ rises, phoenix-like, from the ashes, Chichester and the area has lost a significant event from its calendar along with the accompanying tourist benefits, so it is a short-sighted and ill thought-out decision.
Indeed, even if it does return, who will risk buying tickets for an outside event again? I hope the directors or board members hang their heads in shame.