It was the event that many party-goers were looking forward to for months, but 2013 ended with nothing but disappointment when the New Years Eve festival at Wet ‘n’ Wild in Prospect was cancelled six hours before gates opened.
A week after the cancellation of the event, organisers from One Cube Entertainment have told media outlets that the thousands of ticket holders do not deserve an apology.
“They have been refunded so that’s it, goodbye,” Mr Eric Woo from One Cube Entertainment said.
While the heat keeps rising as the days continue, two of the four young organisers (Nikola Alavanja and Diego Tobar) from the company have taken hiding at Mr Alavanja’s mother’s home.
“We are not running away, we are not escaping, we are just not ready to say anything,” Mr Woo said.
Young promoters and local DJs have told media the decision to cancel was made at 2am that morning but was not made public till after 10.30am.
Though the call was made to cancel in the early hours of December 31, the official “NYE Water Festival” Facebook page changed their cover photo at 9am stating “almost sold out” and that limited tickets were still available.
An hour later, it had changed again saying the event had been “postponed til Australia Day”.
A Hawkesbury ticket holder, who wished to remain anonymous, said his plans had been completely destroyed by the last minute cancellation, resulting to him travelling to Sydney’s Kings Cross instead, while also being out of pocket $110.
“My mates and I had absolutely nothing to do because the festival was cancelled...there was nothing more frustrating,” he said. “Knowing that we were out of pocket over $100 and not knowing when or if we would even see that money again just ruined your mood...it felt like you had been taken for a ride.”
Wet ‘n’ Wild’s managing director, Chris Warhurst told music website ‘inthemix’ that the festival was cancelled because, they “weren’t satisfied that the promoters were able to provide the transport logistics required for this event”.
Despite the claim by Mr Warhurst, One Cube co-director Diego Tobar told the Sydney Morning Herald that “the production was fine, transport was sorted” but “Wet ‘n’ Wild made us pay a large sum last week Friday of 250k upfront room hire or event will not go ahead.”
While ticket-holders were left in the dark until last Friday regarding their refund, it was then the rescheduled date [Australia Day] for the festival was cancelled and all patrons would in fact be refunded the full amount, excluding their booking fee.
A NSW Fair Trading spokesperson said that they have been “in contact with the promoters, One Cube Entertainment who have agreed to provide refunds to ticket holders as soon as possible.”
“There were three separate processes to sell tickets – the two major sellers and several other mini-promoters and it could take several days to process refunds on tickets sold by the mini-promoters,” she said.
“Consumers should contact the booking agency where they originally purchased the tickets. Fair Trading continues with its investigation into the matter and encourages any consumers experiencing difficulties obtaining a refund to call Fair Trading on 1800 213 428.”
But the drama didn’t stop. On Monday afternoon, Wet ‘n’ Wild announced that a third festival that was scheduled to take place at the water park in September would not be going ahead.
A representative from the festival organisation (who has wished to remain anonymous) told ‘inthemix’ that they “would prefer to be kept completely out of any media relating to the NYE event...Obviously we’re not going ahead after the terrible PR surrounding this one.”
Fairfax Community Newspapers attempted to contact Wet ‘n’ Wild, Sydney along with One Cube Entertainment over the duration of the week but received no response by time of print, Monday afternoon.
An information refund hotline has been set up by the entertainment company for all individuals seeking more information. firstname.lastname@example.org or 0430 666 999.