Express & Star

Covid and economic uncertainty blamed after latest delay to city's Creation Day Festival confirmed

The "challenging backdrop of Covid-19" and economic uncertainty have been blamed for a major music festival being called off for the third year in a row.

Happy Mondays were due to headline the Creation Day Festival

The Creation Day Festival, which was scheduled for Wolverhampton's West Park in September, has now been officially postponed with no new date set.

Talks over the festival's future are said to be "pending", after promoter Toura Toura revealed it was seeking legal advice having had "no contact" with Wolverhampton Council since early February.

In the meantime ticketholders for this year's event – who paid up to £160 a throw – have been advised they will be contacted directly by their provider.

The festival was originally due to take place in 2021 and featured a line-up including Happy Mondays, Echo & The Bunnymen and Editors.

No line-up was ever released for this year's event, which was due to be curated by Alan McGee, who founded Creation Records in 1983 and released records by Oasis and Primal Scream.

Alan McGee promoting Creation Day Festival 2022, with Councillor Steve Evans, who is flexing the devil horns.

The latest postponement, revealed by the Express & Star last month, came after main sponsor Utilita said it had heard nothing from either the council or Toura Toura regarding the event for 18 months and expressed fury that tickets were still being sold.

A statement released on the Creation Day Festival Twitter feed says: "Unfortunately, Wolverhampton’s Utilita Creation Day Festival 2023 has been postponed until further notice, pending discussions with the promoter, Toura Toura. We sincerely apologise for the inconvenience. All customers will be contacted by their ticket provider directly.

"There is currently no new date set for the festival, but discussions continue with Toura Toura and other event stakeholders.

"Thank you for your understanding as we’ve worked to develop the festival against a challenging backdrop of Covid-19 and the ongoing economic climate."

The council, which has vowed to turn Wolverhampton into an "events city", has previously blamed Creation Day's failure on “the impact of the pandemic on consumer confidence and ticket sales”.

A number of high profile UK music festivals have sold out this year, including the Metallica-headlined Download at Donington Park, which has sold out for the first time in its history.

In a statement to the Express & Star earlier this month, Toura Toura said "long-term financial issues" relating to the festival remained unresolved.

A spokesman also accused Wolverhampton Council of "ignoring communication and deadlines set by our solicitor".