UK’s Manorfest is Cancelled and Allegedly will Not Return
U.K.’s Manorfest announced the fest will not be returning. In a lengthy statement, they talk about low ticket sales, high costs, and the inability to recoup losses. They will be officially dissolving the company as well.
Had this year’s festival happened, it would have boasted such big-name bands as Moonspell, My Dying Bride, Soilwork, and Dismember.
“For the last 12 months and more, we have worked endlessly to create and stage a fantastic music festival after the disappointment of having to postpone last year’s event. We are dreadfully sorry to have to deliver the news that again Manorfest will not go ahead. No matter how many apologetic words are used to describe the situation, we know that it is impossible to put across to everyone just how devastated we all are. But we are, all of us, totally devastated.
“We believed that after all the issues we experienced last year that led to the postponement, that we would now have the knowledge and hindsight, and indeed added back up and support, to successfully implement ManorFest 2023. However, 2023 has turned out to be even more difficult than 2022. Despite working with some fantastic equipment suppliers and other contractors, and with real support from Whittlebury, costs have continued to spiral upwards and significant deposits are required before any equipment can be booked and supplied.
“We have spent many tens of thousands of pounds in attempting to get this festival off the ground but we now have to admit failure. This was always about creating an uniquely alternative heavy metal festival, it was never seen as just something to make money from. However, with our personal losses now around six figures, we cannot carry on.
“We know from our experiences last year that many people will now be able to say ‘told you so’, and feel vindicated regarding their comments, and will again wish to publish similar thoughts. The reality is that it is now practically impossible to get a new festival of the ground unless funds of circa £250k are available up front, which for most operations is a non starter.
“The U.K.’s future metal festival scene appears now to consist of already established festivals. Despite a comprehensive approach to marketing the festival on social media and other online platforms, the creation of an exciting new website, and with many of our bands actively also marketing the festival, we were not selling enough tickets to go ahead with the festival.
“Feedback online on all the socials has been very good, people generally loved the line-up, and Wayne worked immensely hard to sign some of these amazing artists in the first place. We have lost count of the number of posts saying how they love the line-up, and are going to be buying tickets, but unfortunately in the whole scheme of things, not just yet. Failure to sell enough advance tickets, whether due to the dire economic situation, or peoples reluctance in case the festival doesn’t go ahead, has now become a self-fulfilling prophesy and has led to the cancellation.
“As a business, we cannot survive, and are taking steps to close the company completely. We cannot thank enough those people who have supported us by rolling their tickets over from last year, and also those people who have bought for 2023, and our deepest apologies for not being able to stage Manorfest.
“Those who purchased tickets in 2023 via Whittlebury booking engine should apply directly there for refunds, those who have purchased Early Bird tickets direct from the ManorFest site and ticket holders who have rolled over from previous years should contact their card providers to facilitate chargebacks against the company.
“We have email addresses for all our ticket holders and the liquidators will be in touch with all in the near future. Any queries should be addressed to [email protected] Wayne will be in touch shortly with those who have pre-booked and paid for vendor pitch fees. People who have booked Whittlebury Hotel rooms should contact the venue direct.”
While we can indeed verify that this announcement may make some folks say “I told you so,” and setting aside any mismanagement by the fest founders themselves, they are certainly right that costs are rising globally and being involved with heavy music is increasingly expensive. We hope other fests have better luck overcoming thee challenges.