Daily archives: June 28, 2023

Paradise Stolen 118

I think it is very important that I provide irrefutable proof of the systematic lies behind the boycott campaign with which BECTU, supported by the MSM, destroyed Doune the Rabbit Hole.

The most devastating of these lies was the repeated, and entirely false, claim that the Festival was not just unable to meet its bills in 2022 due to carried debt from two late Covid cancellations in 2020 and 2021, but had not paid artists and suppliers over many festivals.

This is from BECTU’s statement of 23 May, which called for a customer, supplier and artist boycott:

When the organisers contacted our branch in December 2022 they claimed that no one was owed any money from any of the festivals previous to 2022. We already knew that this was not true. When it was pointed out to them that at least one company was owed thousands of pounds from Festival and Beverage (the company now back running this year’s festival) the response was “oh yes – except for them there is no-one else”…. We have also found other companies that are owed from multiple previous festivals.

The total costs of the 2019 festival were approximately £812,000. Of these £806,000 were paid. One single company was indeed owed £6,000 (the last instalment on a £21,000 bill) due to a simple error, compounded by subsequent covid dislocation.

2020 and 2021 were the covid cancellations. We have no idea who are the companies BECTU claim to have found who are owed money from 2019 or earlier. We have had nobody – no artist, no crew, no supplier – contact us with an outstanding invoice from 2019 or before.

Crucially, I have spoken to the liquidator of DTRH Ltd. In seven months of operation, not one person or company has come to the liquidator with any claim arising from the 2019 festival or before.

Yet BECTU say plainly: “We have also found other companies that are owed from multiple previous festivals”.

Who are they? So who are these companies? We don’t know.

We have repeatedly asked BECTU, from December 2022 onwards. I asked them in person at a face to face meeting at their Scottish branch office in March 2023.

BECTU have never given us the name of a single one of the companies they have repeatedly claimed we owe money from 2019 and earlier, even though we have repeatedly asked.

In June, when it became clear this claim was destroying ticket sales, we asked BECTU repeatedly in writing.

BECTU finally told us that they could not tell us who was owed money from before 2019, because that information is confidential. Yes, really, confidential from the people trying to make any payment due.

So to sum up. The Festival was crashed by BECTU chiefly on a claim that people were owed money from the 2019 festival and earlier, but none of the nameless companies they claim are owed that money has ever contacted us or contacted the liquidator.

Furthermore BECTU said they know who these companies are, but refuse to tell us – nor did they assist any such company to contact us.

Plainly BECTU had no interest whatsoever in securing payment for any such companies, but rather were using them as leverage to crash the festival – which means they would never be paid.

The only other explanation, which seems to be the most likely, is that these companies do not exist, that BECTU had no contact with any companies owed money from previous festivals as nobody is owed money.

The whole story is a malicious falsehood concocted to destroy the festival.

Can you make any other sense of why no requests for payment were ever made for this alleged pre 2022 debt?

Other BECTU falsehoods in their statement calling for the festival to be boycotted, concerned broadly health and safety issues.

This one was another major BECTU lie:

There was only one water outlet for much of the build due to the supply being tapped from a Scottish Water outlet without the company’s knowledge or permission.

This is completely, utterly untrue.

This is a picture of the water supply plant for the festival. It was bought by the Cardross Estate with the festival paying for installation and connection. It was installed on the advice of Scottish Water and it was tested and approved by Scottish Water.

Scottish Water tested the quality several times, with the last check just before the 2022 festival. In fact this caused a major problem, as owing to a delay in Scottish Water’s bio-culture laboratory, clearance did not come through as expected, and gate opening was held back by three hours.

There are no Scottish Water outlets on the estate: Scottish Water’s mains piping ends at the gate. We have never tapped in to any Scottish Water outlet.

BECTU at no stage ever asked us about the water supply. They published this utter nonsense without any attempt to discuss with us first. Again, that is absolute proof the intention was to destroy the festival, not to solve another non-existent problem.

Their entire statement is similarly inaccurate. It makes wild claims, including that food was “inedible”. I presume this refers to crew catering.

Catering was inedible and people refused to eat it.

Well, I was on site for four weeks and I ate exactly the same food as everybody else, and I am still here. Approximately 8,000 crew meals were produced from a field kitchen over this period.

Other claims include that somebody saw heavy plant being driven in a public area. But apparently said nothing at the time, and the complaint is first brought up 10 months later.

The festival happened in July 2022. BECTU first published this claim in May 2023, again without asking us first.

One of the SLEN committee was on site with a headline band (who have still not been paid) and saw a number of H&S concerns including heavy plant moving across public areas with no escort while the festival was open.

All heavy plant was driven by expert professionals who were paid £350 per day by the festival. None would have risked their career doing anything unsafe. Plant movements were accompanied by banksmen.

The only plant movement in public areas we are aware of during the festival was to set down stands of bottled water, which had been supplied free by Scottish Water due to the heatwave. This was done safely using banksmen and cordons established by volunteers.

Here is another wild claim from BECTU in their statement, this time on ticket sales by March:

We believe that those 2000 sales will have brought in at least £400,000.

The most expensive ticket sold had been £180 for an adult weekend ticket. A full third of sales were children’s weekend tickets at £10. There were also adult day tickets at £60 or £80. Do the sums yourself on 2,000 tickets.

The claim of £400,000 was not just a lie, it was a very malicious lie which two minutes’ due diligence would have negated.

BECTU’s claim of revenue was fantastically wrong. It was designed to play in to their constant sub-narrative that large sums of money were available but being misappropriated.

I could go on for some time. BECTU, on the basis of this onslaught of malicious fabrication, called for a total boycott of the festival and were enthusiastically echoed in both mainstream and social media, by the entire Establishment.

The festival in 2022 made a large loss because its attempt to make up massive covid cancellation debts from 2020 and 2021 failed. This meant some artists, crew and suppliers are owed money from 2022, even though approximately £1.3 million WAS paid out.

We are deeply sorry for the debt.

We were determined to pay off the debt. We wished to make the festival a success again and work like crazy over these next three years to get all those owed, paid up in full.

Payment had sometimes been late in the past, but before Covid everybody who ever worked at the festival had been paid, (bar a single mistake). If the festival had not been destroyed by the most cynical and vicious campaign of lies, I believe there was a real prospect everybody would get paid off over time.

Now nobody will be paid and this year’s ticket holders have lost out. Congratulations to BECTU on this achievement. When they called for a boycott by artists, suppliers and public, there is no doubt this was the intended consequence.


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