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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10401
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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I am a festival event caterer. Last weekend we attended

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Hello. I am a festival event caterer. Last weekend we attended latitude festival and made a loss. The pitch fee was £7000 plus power fee of £1080. Other costs came to around £11'000. We had a turn over of £16'310. We made a loss of around £3000. We were placed in the best pitch of the whole festival and still made a loss. I am pretty sure every trader on site made a loss. It was clear that the organisers had sold far too many concessions to traders thus diluting the market too far for anyone to make a profit.
My 1st question is can we claim compensation for the loss on the grounds that they charged too much for the pitch?
May second question: We are due to do more business with the same company later in the year. I have already paid them half of the pitch fee. Can i cancel my place at this next event and lawfully demand my money back. I have contracts but I cant see anything about cancellations on there.
Thanks for your help, Rory perriment
Burger Theory

You cannot claim anything simply because there were not enough people at the event or that the event made a loss for you. If however they didn’t do everything that was reasonable to get people there and to do the advertising they said they were going to do, you may be able to make a claim. However it is not going to be an easy claim to make. It would also be risky although it would depend on how many people were bringing claims as to whether they would negotiate or allow you to cancel the later events.

If there is nothing in the terms of business about cancellation, then the cancellation terms must be reasonable. Hence, depending on how long before the event you propose to cancel, you may be entitled to some, all, or none of your money back.

There is no statutory provision for cancellation between businesses.

Depending on when later in the year the event is, and whether they can fill that space, depend on whether they would be liable to refund any of that booking fee to you. If they simply refuse, you would be faced with taking them to court which fortunately, with a fee which is under £10,000, it would be Small Claims Court and hence, even if your claim is unsuccessful, you would not have to pay their legal fees.

It would certainly be worth telling them that you propose to cancel unless, in the light of the last disaster, they are prepared to reduce the site fee substantially in respect of the next event and refund part of the site fee in respect of the last event.

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