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Maitreya organisers make first statement since cancellation

Festival ticket-holders have been struggling to get refunds

  • SCOTT CARBINES
  • 24 March 2016

Organisers of Australia's Maitreya festival have released their first statement since the event was cancelled just one day out two weeks ago.

About 10,000 tickets were sold for the doomed tenth anniversary celebration, which was supposed to take place at Wooroonook Lakes near Charlton in rural Victoria from March 11 to 14, and ticket-holders who paid between $150 and $300 have been struggling to get reliable information on refunds in the aftermath.

The latest Facebook post from organisers reads: "Maitreyans, first we would like to apologise for the delay in communication from our side. For those of you who have been following this fiasco, this has evolved into a very complex situation and we appreciate your patience and all your support during this time. The crew have only just returned from the site pack-down, which was a huge challenge in itself. The team is currently working on the best possible solution for everyone involved in particular all the concerns raised about ticketing. We will have more information for you guys early next week and thank you again for your patience and continued support. Wishing everyone a Happy Easter. Love, Maitreya Team."

Consumer Affairs Victoria said anyone who held a ticket to a cancelled event was entitled to a refund. The ticketing outlet used by Maitreya, TryBooking, told The Music refunds would be given once organisers had left the planned site, but admitted they weren't sure whether the legal responsibility lay with them or the festival. If they haven't already, ticket-holders who used a credit card can contact their bank and request a "charge back".

Maitreya was denied the permit it needed by the local Buloke Shire Council in February. Organisers insisted the event was going ahead until the day before it was due to start. They said heavy rain had made it impossible for the festival to be held at the proposed alternative site. Many aren't buying the excuse given Victoria Police, the Country Fire Authority and Ambulance Victoria all withdrew their support, as did sound and lighting companies and the festival's insurance provider.

Ticket-holders can contact Consumer Affairs Victoria for advice on how to get a refund or await more information from Maitreya organisers.

Scott Carbines is Mixmag's Australian Online News Editor, follow him on Twitter.

[Image: Duncographic]

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