An open letter to Gaiety Festival and Mike Wilson Productions Ltd.
Dear Gaiety Team,
Firstly, you must understand how disappointed we are that we have had to resort to an open letter in the vague hope that it might attract your attention. We’ve tried to engage with you directly, but so far we have had no luck.
Today we write to you on behalf of all small businesses, customers, and theatre fans impacted by the cancellation of your event, to plead for our refunds. Small businesses have invested so much time and effort into preparing for what promised to be a truly memorable event with a stunning lineup. The way we have been treated since the sad cancellation announcement is not acceptable.
For a small business to get ready for this event, so much more happens than simply transferring you our fee. We order extra stock, we prepare stalls, buy banners, gazebos, flyers, posters. We book hotels, plan travel – even organizing someone to look after the dogs while we are away! We poured so much time, energy and money into getting ready for this – the very least you can do is give us back the money we gave you in good faith. We are not large corporations that can take a financial hit; we are small businesses that have put everything we have into getting ready for this.
Regrettably, cancelling an event is sometimes the right thing to do. I can imagine that the full team at Gaiety are just as distraught as anyone that this event cannot go ahead. The problem here, far more than the event being cancelled, is how that cancellation has been dealt with. When you are sat front row of your favorite tear jerking musical, silence is golden. When you are organizing an event, it is not.
We have sent you several emails and social media messages and are yet to receive a single reply or even acknowledgement. Whilst we are determined to remain as professional as possible, the simple point is this – you have our money, and we want it back.
We need to adjust our plan, seek alternative opportunities for our small businesses, and try and make the most out of a bad situation – but to do that, we need back the money that you owe us. And we need it now.
The festival was truly a fantastic idea, and we were all so excited to see it come to fruition. The fact that it didn’t work out is heartbreaking. We are now asking you to see the effort that has been put in by your stakeholders and act accordingly.
On behalf of all impacted Small Businesses.