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Organiser "very sorry" for music event failings

The organiser of a music event in Lichfield's Beacon Park, parts of which have been described as "shambolic", says he is sorry that it failed to deliver all that was promised.

Ibiza Proms in the Park took place last Friday.
Ibiza Proms in the Park took place last Friday.

Ibiza Proms in the Park attracted more than 8,000 people last Friday (September 3) eager to enjoy dance music played by a 50-piece orchestra, supporting DJs and a funfair.

The entertainment was highly praised but some say their evening was ruined because inadequate drinks provision left people queuing for as long as two hours.

They were not permitted to bring their own drinks into the venue and hundreds complained on social media following the event, the standard ticket price for which was £27.75.

One woman, who did not wish to be named said: "Our group of six had to split up to get food and drink when we got in.

"I queued for one hour and 40 minutes and it ruined the evening really.

"The queues were massive and a lot of people were frustrated. We arrived just before 8pm and did not get out food and drink until 10pm - by then there was only an hour left.

"I would not go again because of the food and drinks situation. It just seemed disorganised.

"It was a let down after paying that much for a ticket."

Organiser Jon Arrowsmith, managing director of Cocker Hoop Creative carried out a review of the event over the weekend with contractors and suppliers.

He said the original brewery supplier had pulled out seven weeks before the event and the replacement supplier arrived on Thursday with six small gazebos, instead of six large units, featuring 24 beer dispensing taps - 60 less than had been promised, and "half the amount of serving staff".

"We have been told that the reduction in dispensing taps was a result of the Brexit logistics issue and the reduction in staff was a result of Covid," said Mr Arrowsmith.

"We have discussed our frustration with our supplier on the clear break in our service level agreement, but as we were given no prior warning, it was not possible to rectify the issue on the day of the event."

Responding to the argument that the queuing issue would not have existed if people had been allowed to bring in their own drinks he said: "This was not for my financial benefit.

"It was due to the stipulations in our premises licence issued by Lichfield District Council.

"Our licence conditions differ from Proms in the Park (where people can bring their own refreshments) because our event was held in a fenced-off area and no alcohol can be brought onto or off the site to avoid health and safety accidents and security incidents.

Mr Arrowsmith said security at the event "should have been vastly better".

He said complaints have been made over the "attitude and language" of the security guards, ticket holders not being allowed re-entry after leaving the site and that there were "several serious reports of guards taking money to allow patrons access to different elements of the festival they had not paid for".

Mr Arrowsmith said: The guards that were found to have carried out the latter have been removed from employment with immediate effect and we are in ongoing discussions with the security company about these serious concerns."

He added that ticket holders with a genuine claim for a refund are asked to contact admin@cockercreative.com with their ticket details and reason for a refund and these would be processed on an individual basis.

"Right from the start, all I wanted to do was put on a new, exciting event for Lichfield after 18 months of the pandemic, and whilst I am so very sorry that we fell short of delivering all I had promised, I truly hope you allow me to come back and do better next time," he added.

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