“There has been absolutely no communication from the festival and I have no hopes of that changing,” says one dismayed fan
Ticket holders for the now-cancelled three-day electronic music festival that promoters planned to host in Oro-Medonte last weekend remain frustrated by the promoters’ lack of communication on how — and when — they get their money back.
On August 12, the Ever After Music Festival “team” informed “Adventurers” on Instagram that an email had been sent out with all the information they would need to receive a refund.
The event, which was scheduled to take place August 12-14 at the Burl’s Creek Event Grounds south of Orillia, was canceled after organizers failed to obtain community approval for the required special events permit. City councilors voted against the permit, citing concerns about the festival’s operational planning.
On August 16, festival officials posted an update on their Instagram account, noting that refunds have started being paid out, but could take anywhere from 10 to 15 business days to be received.
“On Friday, ticket holders should receive an email about refund options. I[know]about 30 or more people going and they all said no email got through for them either,” explained Brianna Cloud, 18.
Cloud, who had planned to travel almost 300 kilometers from her home in Lambton Shores to Oro-Medonte for the festival, also says her bracelet for the event never arrived, although she was told it was more than a month ago was shipped.
“The cancellation of the event was very disappointing as I have been looking forward to going to this festival since I was 16. But since COVID shut everything down, that didn’t happen,” she said.
Cloud also said the lack of communication on behalf of the organizers was “unprofessional”. Being ignored or never getting a real answer was crazy considering how much planning and money went into this festival. It felt disrespectful considering how many people have had the same experience with their response team.”
She says the experience definitely influenced her decision to buy from Ever After or Unity Travel in the future, but noted that she still plans to attend the Lost Lands Music Festival, a similar type of festival, in the future.
“There are many festivals with good reputations, but Ever After definitely lost theirs — Or what’s left of it. I very much doubt anyone will buy from them in the future if they ever try to do another festival again,” said Cloud.
Brandon Parker, who bought tickets for himself and his girlfriend as a Christmas present in 2019, said that despite statements by Ever After officials on social media, neither he nor anyone he knows who bought tickets contacted or emailed organizers have received from them
Between the tickets, the camping, and the parking, Parker says he’ll be out about $500 if he doesn’t get a refund.
“I would of course like the money back, although I know others who were due to attend the festival who were from out of the country and had paid thousands of dollars including all expenses,” Parker said, adding that he never received a ticket either got or bracelet in the mail. “It was definitely frustrating to get any kind of feedback from the organizers.
“I received absolutely no replies to my messages via email. On Instagram they stopped me from DMing them.”
The 27-year-old London, Ontario resident said he attended the 2019 festival and had a blast.
“It is a real pity that the organizers did not organize the event well enough to make this possible. I doubt this festival would happen again, but if it did I think their reputation is beyond repair and no one would buy tickets,” Parker said.
Parker noted that last year’s ticket holders should receive a “free benefit.” — including their selection of free merchandise, drinks or other products, but said when he inquired about it last month, all he received was an automated reply email telling him he would have a response within seven to 10 business days would receive.
“I thought that was odd considering this aired on July 16th and the festival was less than a month away at the time. It shouldn’t take seven to 10 business days to respond to such a small request, especially when the festival is then less than a month away,” he said. “I have never had a response to my emails regarding the benefit or any credit/refund at all.
“There has been absolutely no communication from the festival and I have no hopes of that changing.”
Up until this year the festival was held at Bingemans in Kitchener and was organized by Beyond Oz Productions.
Beyond Oz Productions – which is also listed as ICC Global Property Development Inc. in a bankruptcy and insolvency records search — filed for bankruptcy on December 14, 2021 and has accumulated more than $5.6 million in liabilities.
After being suspended for the last two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the event was taken over and organized by Unity Travel, hoping to move it more than 200 kilometers north to the municipality of Oro-Medonte.
Attempts to contact festival officials and Unity Travel have been unsuccessful.
Andrew Calderon, AAssociate Director for the Get In! The Brooklyn, NY-based PR firm that handled the distribution of Ever After Music Festival’s official statement confirming the event’s cancellation said in an email that it hadn’t heard from the promoters since they met on April 1, 2019 5/16 Calderon noted that despite various attempts to make contact, she received “complete radio silence.”
“We can’t really do our job if we’re as in the dark as everyone else,” she said.