A festival in Ontario is extending a warm welcome – and free concert passes – to music lovers left on the hook after the cancellation of the upcoming Pemberton Music Festival.
WayHome Music and Arts, being held July 28 to 30th in Medonte, Ontario, is being headlined by Frank Ocean, Imagine Dragons, Solange and Tegan and Sara.
Organizers say Pemberton ticket holders can redeem their WayHome ticket by sending in a copy of their cancelled pass. The offer is valid until June 30.
WayHome said the offer is to help their “WayHomies in the West.”
The Pemberton Music Festival announced Thursday it was forced to cancel its 2017 event after the organizers filed for bankruptcy. The cancellation comes just one year after the Squamish Music Festival was axed.
The Pemberton festival said for the past three years it had incurred "significant losses," in part due to a weakening Canadian dollar since 2015.
But it's not just the company that is getting hit in the pocketbook: the festival said it would not be able to provide refunds for tickets already purchased because it is now in bankruptcy protection.
Bankruptcy lawyer Geoffrey Dabbs said that ticket holders will unfortunately fall at the bottom of the list of people and companies trying to recover money.
“They’re what’s known as an unsecured creditor because an amount paid to buy the ticket is really just like an advance or a loan to the company ahead of time,” he said.
“The problem for the ticket holders is if all of those secured claims eat up the assets of the company then there will be nothing left for the ticket holders.”
Ticket holders were urged to file a proof of claim through its website, or contact their bank or credit card company to determine whether a refund could be obtained.
Best friends Katy Penny and Anthea Psarianos bought their tickets the first day they went on sale.
“It’s just such a serene amazing experience because the mountains and the energy there is incredible,” said Penny, who goes to the festival every year.
She paid more than $800 for her four-day pass and a reserved camping site – Psarianos and her brother paid more than $1000 just for their tickets.
“The money that we have saved to put towards the festival has been hard-earned money, especially people for our age who are working students [and] don’t have a large income at the moment,” Psarianos said. “Just to hear the fact that we might not be getting our money back is pretty heart-breaking. I feel like it’s going to upset a lot of people.”
This year's four-day event was slated to feature Muse, A Tribe Called Quest and Chance the Rapper.
Penny said while the offer from WayHome Music and Arts festival is admirable, many students will not be able to afford the extra cost and time needed to travel to Ontario.
Pemberton pass holders that want a WayHome ticket should email firstname.lastname@example.org.