Isle of Man Festival liquidators make little progress on ticket refunds

Bobby Gillespie of Primal Scream

Bobby Gillespie of Primal Scream

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Music fans hoping for a refund of tickets for the failed Isle of Man Festival have been told that liquidation is to end with little progress having been made.

Liquidators Shimmin Wilson & Co have announced they will be bringing the liquidation of organisers Rockingmann to a close on May 28 with no funds available to pursue matters further.

PayPal is understood to still hold £6,324.43 relating to tickets purchased online but has so far refused to say why.

Leonard Gerber, at Shimmin Wilson & Co, said that they could now only recommend that people contact PayPal to ask for refunds.

The liquidator said in its letter to creditors: ‘We have already incurred significant costs at our firm’s expense for such work without any likelihood of ever being paid for it.

‘Despite various letters and emails to PayPal (Europe) S.a.r.l et Cie, S.C.A. in which we have requested that they either pay Mr Shimmin as liquidator, to enable the company to make a refund, or that PayPal refund them directly, no meaningful response to date has been received.

‘We can only suggest that the 150 ticket holders contact PayPal directly to request the repayment of their ticket money.’

The Isle of Man Festival was due to take place on July 6 last year starring band Primal Scream at Noble’s Park in Douglas. However, it was cancelled on June 24 citing a lack of ticket sales as the reason behind the decision.

Ticketholders have since been waiting for a refund and set up their own group ‘Isle of Man Festival Refund Group’ on Facebook to keep each other up to date with any developments.

The liquidator’s letter details the current financial position, saying: ‘The company’s liabilities exceeded its assets by some £326,825.

‘The only assets identified had been £6,000 of sponsorship monies, a debtor owing a refund of £431.50 in respect of travel expenses, the sum of £6,324.43 held by PayPal, and £1,227.27 in cash held in the company’s bank account.’

Since being appointed, the liquidators say they have received the refund of £431.50 and taken control of the company’s bank account.

They add: ‘We have also tried to recover the sum of sponsorship monies, but following various correspondence with the sponsor and its advocates, it was decided that any such claim, in respect of an event that did not take place, would be difficult and costly to argue.

‘In the absence of appropriate funding and no real prospect of a commercial recovery this has not been progressed.

‘As explained in previous correspondence, under the current Isle of Man legislation there is no provision for state funding of liquidation fees and disbursements, and a liquidator would therefore pay such expenses from the available assets of a company in liquidation.

‘In this respect, the only remaining asset is cash in the company’s bank account in the sum of £1,388.10 and the liquidator now proposes that he should conclude the liquidation and pay some of the firm’s outstanding expenses plus VAT from this balance of cash. The level of the firm’s fees is already over £5,000.

‘It is for the reasons explained above that we see no benefit to the creditors in continuing with the liquidation.

‘The purpose of the final meeting will be to provide creditors with an account of how the affairs of the company have been wound up; to determine whether an application should be made to the Companies Registry for the dissolution of the company and; if so, how the records of the company should be disposed of.’

The meeting will take place on Wednesday, May 28, at 11.30am at the offices of Shimmin Wilson & Co with creditors asked to confirm in advance if they will be attending.

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