By Chris Cooke | Published on Thursday 22 September 2022
Ticketing company Festicket has officially fallen into administration, with a Companies House filing this week confirming that ReSolve Advisory Limited has been appointed to oversee that process.
This isn’t a surprise, given another recent filing which stated that the company’s board had “resolved on 29 Aug that the company should enter administration proceedings and that a Notice Of Intention To Appoint Administrators be filed”.
Then clients of Event Genius, a provider of various ticketing tools that was acquired by Festicket back in 2019, received an update telling them that talks were underway to sell many of its assets to US-based ticketing tech business Lyte, while the Event Genius company itself was being wound up.
That update added: “We are in a process to wind down the existing business, which includes the appointment of an administrator to determine what monies will be on-hand to pay out unsecured creditors and promoter obligations. You will be hearing more on that process from us soon”.
It seems likely that the disruption caused by the COVID pandemic and the resulting shutdown of live music ultimately proved too challenging for the wider Festicket business – which specialised in selling special packages around festivals and music events, and which also operated Ticket Arena, another consumer-facing ticketing service it acquired alongside Event Genius in 2019.
It remains to be seen to what extent Festicket falling into administration impacts on other players in the live sector. Though it could be quite a significant impact, given that a number of venues and events that used the company’s services have already expressed concern about monies they are owed, ie the cash that Festicket received by selling tickets to their events which is yet to be handed over.
Bristol club Motion recently wrote on Facebook: “As you may know from purchasing tickets through our website, Festicket and Ticket Arena were our ticketing partners for Motion and have been for the last six years. Our event partners and Motion are owed in excess of £300,000 due to not receiving payments for tickets sold through their platforms”.
As for why the collapse of Festicket could result in Motion and its partners losing money, its statement went on: “Once the ticketing company has deducted their booking fees, the remaining ticket money should be held in a client account and therefore not touched. However, despite this, we are now being told that key assets are being sold off and the debt stands to be ‘liquidated’”.
Speaking to Access All Areas, Ben Street from Wild Paths and the Wild Fields Festival expanded on that latter point, stating: “This company has had a huge impact on the future of a number of independent event organisers and there is currently no resolution in sight”.
“Their clients’ money should have been held ‘in trust’ but it appears this was not the case”, he added. “Instead, assets have been stripped and sold onto a large American buyer. The debt remains with the gutted shell company – currently in administration – with big question marks over any sort of fair remuneration”.
In a more recent post on Facebook, Motion wrote: “The funds we are due, quite simply, should not have been moved from the holding account, as Festicket does not pay VAT on this money due to client account regulations with them acting as a merchant. If the money has been spent they have defrauded us, the customers and they have also defrauded the government”.
“We are calling on the government to take charge of the situation”, they added, “freeze the sale of any assets and conduct a full investigation under the Companies Act 2006 – before any self-appointed insolvency practitioners take action”.
We now await a statement for Festicket’s newly appointed administrators.
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