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Fans await refunds for cancelled VestiVille festival

Organisers of cancelled VestiVille festival in Belgium has said it is “consulting” with its partners regarding refunds for fans that paid more than £200 per ticket.

The hip-hop music festival, which describes itself as “the gateway to an urban oasis of music,” was forced to close its gates on the day it was scheduled to begin due to safety concerns. Headliners included rapper A$AP Rocky, Cardi-B, Migos, Ja Rule and Ashanti.

Festival organisers Ravuth and Aymira Ty, and business partner Nik Chawda, are reportedly being detained by police on suspicion of defrauding contractors and partners.

The cancelled event was due to be the first staging of VestiVille in Belgium, after initially launching in Amsterdam in 2013.

The mayor of Lommel, where the festival was being held, told the BBC that several days prior to the event he had raised concerns, but was reportedly assured it would ready in time for festival-goers arriving on June 28.

Mayor Bob Nijs said, according to the BBC: “In the evening when we came back we saw they had worked hard, but there were still problems. There were no emergency exits, the stages were not safe and they only had about 30 security guards.

“It was a difficult decision to make, but I didn’t want to be the mayor to say, ‘Sorry your son or your daughter died at this festival.'”

VestiVille organisers alerted ticket-holders on social media of the cancellation, stating: “Today at 5:00 PM the mayor of Lommel decided to not let VestiVille start.

“After consultation with the security services and A$AP Rocky’s security officer, it was decided that the safety of the artist and the public could not be guaranteed.”

A$AP Rocky tweeted: “VestiVille!!!: I won’t be performing today due to security and infrastructure concerns which relate to the production of the show.

“The promoters told me it would be handled but unfortunately for you and me they didn’t.”

Many fans have been comparing the fiasco to the 2017 Fyre Festival debacle.

In their statement, VestiVille added: “Production and suppliers have given everything to make VestiVille possible. The campsite will remain open for the time being and an organised festival exit will be organised in consultation with the municipality.

“The organisation will now consult with their official partners about a refund.”

Update: The event’s ticketing partners, Festicket and Eventbrite, have agreed to provide fans with refunds.

Image: Chad Cooper