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‘Broke’ Vibiscum Festival refuses to refund ticket-holders after cancellation

Featured Image Credit: Vibiscum Festival

Switzerland’s cancelled Vibiscum Festival has said it cannot afford to refund ticket-holders who paid up to CHF 195 to attend the event.

Vibiscum Festival was called off just days ahead of the start of what was meant to be its third edition at the end of May. The festival welcomed more than 30,000 music fans to Vevey’s Place du Marché for its second edition last year.

Organisers said a lack of ticket sales has made it impossible to cover the costs of artists and other vendors. An increase in ticket pricing and failure to attract well-known artists were among the reasons given for poor sales.

It has been reported that the festival hoped to sell 18,000 tickets, but had sold just half of that two weeks before the start of the event. Its sales partners were Ticketmaster and Ticketcorner.

Controversially, Vibiscum Festival, which is sponsored by Nestle, said it is currently unable to refund those who bought tickets. Some tickets cost as much as CHF 195 (£168 / €197 / $214) with standing places available from CHF 79.

Organisers said: “Due to the financial difficulties we are facing, we regret to inform you that we are unable to provide ticket refunds at this time. We understand that this may be frustrating and we sincerely apologise for this situation.

“However, we would like to assure you that we are fully committed to finding a fair solution for all affected festival-goers. To this end, we are actively exploring all available options to compensate ticket holders for their losses.”

Vibiscum Festival crowded out by established events?

Vevey is close to Montreux, and many have contended its proximity to the famous jazz festival was a hindrance to its success. Vibiscum Festival director and founder William von Stockalper reportedly said last year that artists refused to sign up due to threats from other events.

Organisers said: “We are deeply disappointed and saddened not to be able to realise our dream of offering the inhabitants of Vevey the festival they deserve and remain, despite everything, proud of the first two editions.

“We would like to express our sincere gratitude to all the people who participated in the first two editions and who believed in us for this third edition. We are sorry this event cannot take place, but we are grateful for all the support you have given us.”