Music festival cancelled after two top acts withdraw


THE FORTHCOMING Summer Sessions music festival in Dublin has been cancelled after the withdrawal of a second act.

Yesterday, The Stranglers cancelled their appearance at the event, which was scheduled for Dublin’s Iveagh Gardens over the May bank holiday weekend.

Last Friday, another high-profile band, The Human League, pulled out of the festival.

On their respective websites, The Human League and The Stranglers both cited the failure of the promoter to pay part of their fees in advance as the main reason for cancelling their appearances.

The acts also claimed the promoter had ceased answering phone calls and emails on the subject of these payments. The Human League advised fans who had purchased a ticket to see the British band at the event to seek a refund, and offered “sincere apologies” for what has happened.

“We have tried our very best to ensure this concert took place,” the band’s agent said, “but without some guarantee our costs will be reimbursed to us, we cannot book air tickets, ferries and so on, so events are now beyond our control.”

Festival promoter John Greaney of The Event Company, who has promoted shows for Westlife and Bryan Ferry, blamed poor ticket sales for the festival’s problems, noting the event had only sold about €50,000 worth of tickets. “The problems aren’t down to The Human League pulling out,” he said, “the tickets are just not selling.” Day tickets were €39.90 and €49.80, while a weekend ticket cost €119.90.

Other acts on the bill for the festival included Sharon Shannon, Razorlight, Stereo MCs, The High Kings and The Undertones.

Mr Greaney said he had already accumulated costs of “over €150,000” and expected the final total to “be nearer €200,000”. He said fans will be “fully refunded”.

Summer Sessions is not the only forthcoming music festival encountering problems with headliners. US act Chic have pulled out of the Westport Festival of Music and Performing Arts. The band’s agent said it was “not financially feasible” for the band to travel after their withdrawal from a French festival the same weekend.