The first edition of Bristol festival Another World is no longer happening this weekend and has been postponed until 2019.
Another World, which describes itself as "if Carling made underground dance music festivals," shared the news in a now-deleted Facebook statement on Tuesday night. According to the post, the festival is not permitted to take place at Washingpool Farm due to "the distressing presence of sheep faeces on all fields" and some still-present livestock. It continues: "The guidance from the [Health And Safety Executive] is that a weekend festival that includes camping, children's play areas and food that can be consumed in 'picnic areas' means that we cannot ignore the potential risk to health that the abundance of sheep faeces poses."
A Facebook group for now put-out punters called "Another World festival CANCELLED and we want refunds!!!" contains posts from people attempting to make sense of the festival's postponement email, which does not mention refunds. One post, by Joe Farren, includes a screenshot of a Facebook comment by festival organiser Lee Boyaka responding to another user's question about refunds.
"We only had this info at 2 PM [on Tuesday, July 31st]," he writes. "The refund policy is clear in our Ts and Cs and that is the process that will be followed." Another World's terms and conditions currently state: "Tickets cannot be exchanged or refunded after purchase unless the performance is cancelled... Where an outdoor Event is cancelled or curtailed because of adverse weather, license, terrorism or other issues beyond our control, we shall not be liable to make any refund or pay any compensation."
Farren also provided screenshots to Resident Advisor in which a festival advertiser named "Nick" wrote about not being paid for his more than 50 hours of work because his contract involved being paid from gross ticket sales. Using the official Another World Facebook account, he commented asking for help finding work with "any legit festivals" now that "Lee isn't honoring our contract." Then, he added: "This is going to get deleted quickly."
Another screenshot via Farren shows a comment from Boyaka's Facebook account that reads, "got to say I am loling at some of the sheep memes though [sic]." Farren says the comment was deleted within one minute.
Just last week, Boyaka posted on Facebook about the "wild ride" of putting together the festival, which he says was forced to move venues twice previously. His personal Facebook account has been deleted as of 2:35 PM local time today. The Another World Facebook page has also been removed.
Another World's lineup, which is no longer shown on its official website but still appears on RA, featured Bad Company, A Guy Called Gerald, Derrick Carter, Special Request, Paul Woolford, Dave Clarke, Joey Beltram and many more. Artists, including Carter, were cancelling their performances at the festival as early as July 29th. Quality Control management posted on July 30th that Hixxy and Fracus & Darwin would no longer be performing: "Despite our best efforts at communicating with the promoters over the past seven weeks to try and resolve the situation (no contracts signed or deposits paid), we feel at this point we have no alternative."
Screenshots of a statement from Washingpool Farms' owner Colin Agius contradicts the Another World team's reasons for cancellation. Agius explains that the fields were not ready for the festival due to a mixup, however he offered use of his other fields and warehouses spaces for the event and received no response from Another World organisers. He writes, "This could have been resolved and the event would have been sorted. Unfortunately [the] main event organiser never even attended the site today and we tried several times to call him but we were not answered."
Read the festival's initial Facebook statement in full:
Another World Festival that was due to take place between 3rd-5th August at Washingpool Farm, Bristol will now be postponed due to circumstances beyond our control, to summer 2019.
All ticket holders will receive emails in the next 24 hours with full information regarding refunds/rescheduling your tickets to the event next year.
During our final site inspection as we began building the festival our H&S team informed us of the distressing presence of sheep faeces on all fields to be planned for use for Another World festival, and that in fact there are livestock still present.
There is strict HSE guidance regarding sheep waste and the responsibility of the farm owner when allowing public to enter their property. Salmonella, Listeria and E. coli are pathogens that can be passed through sheep faeces as well as parasites, roundworms and tapeworms are also linked to fresh, faeces that has not degraded.
These are very real dangers that cannot be ignored.
HSE guidance clearly states to "Keep farm animals off the fields for three weeks prior to use". The fact that the farm had been informed about the need to remove livestock from the areas four weeks prior to Another World taking over the property for festival build indicates they have wilfully ignored these dangers.
The guidance from the Health And Safety team is that a weekend festival that includes camping, children's play areas and food that can be consumed in "picnic areas" means that we cannot ignore the potential risk to health that the abundance of sheep faeces poses.
We understand how devastating this news will be for you to hear. We have exhausted all avenues in order to solve this problem, however with the close proximity to the event, the significant H&S risk was insurmountable and we have been left been with no option but to postpone the event to summer 2019.
All ticket holders will be receiving emails directly from the festival shortly with regards to refunds and options to reschedule to the 2019 event.
Thank you to all the supporters of this project. The dream is to make rave great again, and that dream still lives on. Please keep the faith and support us through this challenging time.Update: According to the Bristol Post, an anonymous owner of a DJ agency said some acts didn't even know they were scheduled to play the festival.
"One of my artists was scheduled to play at Another World but we received no deposit for his set or any information about it," they said. "A major techno DJ had no idea he had been put down on the lineup to play."
Resident Advisor has reached out to Another World and Boyaka for comment. We will continue to update this story as it develops.