A MUSIC festival which had been due to take place at Fort Regent this summer has been cancelled, with organisers saying it is ‘very difficult to get anything done’ in Jersey.
The Wonky Festival is a two-day festival organised by Rojo’s founder JP Anquetil, featuring international house music, drum-and-bass DJs and ‘immersive psychedelic decor’.
Last year, the festival took place at Fort Regent’s east ditch and was due to return to the same spot in July this year.
Festival organisers yesterday posted on their Facebook page that the festival would not be going ahead this year as ‘the venue is not available to us’.
The post continued: ‘Our best understanding is that it is something to do with the continually changing landscape of what is happening with the facility in the short term. Unfortunately it’s something we have no control of.’
In February this year, organisers said they had been informed by the sports division of the Infrastructure and Environment Department that they ‘no longer had the resources to support the event’ and therefore they would be unable to use the Fort as a venue for the festival.
Mr Anquetil noted that the festival took place almost exclusively outside, without the need for any government facilities to be used. Last year, the only aspect of the festival that took place indoors was the ticketing, which he said they had offered to move outside.
He said: ‘It’s completely self-sufficient outside. We told them we can run this on our own without government support.’
However, he said he was told that he needed a government department to support the event.
Mr Anquetil added: ‘Are we supposed to approach the Treasury to ask them to support our festival?’
After unsuccessfully attempting to secure a number of different venues, he added that they had been forced to cancel the event.
‘We got to the point where we were going to end up not doing it properly, and it was going to be a mess,’ he explained, adding that anyone who had purchased a ticket was due to receive a full refund.
To Mr Anquetil, the cancellation of The Wonky Festival is indicative of a wider problem.
He said: ‘It’s typical of Jersey. It’s very difficult to get anything done. I’d say I have about a 5% success rate of getting events organised. It’s an ongoing battle to get any-thing on anywhere.’
He remains hopeful that the festival will return to the Fort next year.