All Tomorrow's Parties liquidation (1 Viewer)

oh shit

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It seemed like they were taking over everything a few years ago. I just assumed they were doing it all really well and that they'd built a good business model. But on reflection, I haven't been since 2006 and don't know anyone who still bothers with it. They've been recycling a lot of the same stuff for a long while. Never thought I'd be apathetic about the chance to see Shellac live... but it turns out everything has a sell by date.

Regarding creditors, well, you can get a flavour of what's going on from the types of businesses who are sticking by them, and the types who are finished with them. I suppose the reality is that their sympathetic creditors are also feeling a huge squeeze these last few years, and if it weren't ATP it would be nothing at all. So perhaps it is simply better business to maintain a working relationship with the new entity in the hope of getting some cash in the future, rather than nothing at all.
 

nlgbbbblth

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Thanks for that.

By law they're only obliged to file abridged accounts with the Companies Office so you only get to see a balance sheet. No profit and loss account which would make for interesting reading. The capital account of the balance sheet shows baaad losses between 2009 and 2010.

They've filed no accounts since 31/03/10 - not a good sign and symptomatic of their financial condition.
 

hugh

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I think it's obvious they have been in trouble for the last two years or so but I wouldn't be so quick to condemn them as "shady bastards". I'd say they are desperately trying to keep the thing afloat and there is some inevitable collateral damage going on with creditors. They probably expanded too quickly .. I always thought it was crazy to be running 3-4 events a year in England. It lost something of its allure when it ceased to be a once-a-year thing and surely they could have kept it going successfully, and in profit, if they had limited it to the one. But then, I'm not a festival promoter so what do I know?

I hope they manage to sort it all out and keep it going. I don't see any reason why a festival should have some sort of natural "sell-by" date. How long has Glasto been going anyway? ATP has provided me with some of the most memorable live music experiences of my life and even if its not as good as it used to be, it's still a lot better than most everything else.

re: Shellac - unlike many, I never get bored of them. But I reckon the reason they are curating a December one is that they are so onboard with the ATP concept that they are probably doing it for little or no money and with a pretty restricted budget. The thing seems to be nearly sold out so that strategy might be paying off.

Also, for what it's worth, I have dealt with Deborah Higgins and found her (and the ATP organisation in general) to be extraordinarily helpful. I contacted them out of the blue asking for permission to do my photography thing at last December's one and they got back immediately, gave me said permission, and were really helpful with logistics etc as well. This is in contrast to many others who routinely don't even bother replying to emails ....

In summary: they are a-ok in my book
 

oh shit

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well you say in your first paragraph that it was mad to run 3-4 festivals a year and lost its allure (and don't forget the one off gigs, the 'dont look back' shows, the stages at primavera etc) but then go on to say that the festival hasn't got a sell-by date.

perhaps if it was once a year it would still be profitable, but it wouldn't have had much of a turnover, and then it wouldn't be enough to make a living off - never mind build up a record label, and become big movers in the london concert scene, which is obviously what they wanted to do.

i think that, unlike Glastonbury (which has never been all that profitable anyway, and is basically subsidised by sponsors, TV rights, and being a working farm 11 months a year), ATP is actually drawing from a very small pool of artists and is selling to an extremely niche market, both of which are either getting older or getting bored with the format.

basically, I think there's probably a natural limit to the size of business that their customer base can sustain, and they greatly exceeded it, and consequently it seems a lot of other people have lost a lot of money. seems they always prioritised the small guys, which is good, but they also seem to have made a lot of pretty bad decisions along the way that left the punters out of pocket too. that's just not justified by any measure.

Shellac is easily my favourite live band, but the point was that I'm not going to keep paying for the festival weekend when they are basically the only real draw on the bill. still might go to december's festival, but if i had to fly over for it or make any kind of firm booking around it, i wouldn't dare.
 

oh shit

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well you say in your first paragraph that it was mad to run 3-4 festivals a year and lost its allure (and don't forget the one off gigs, the 'dont look back' shows, the stages at primavera etc) but then go on to say that the festival hasn't got a sell-by date.

perhaps if it was once a year it would still be profitable, but it wouldn't have had much of a turnover, and then it wouldn't be enough to make a living off - never mind build up a record label, and become big movers in the london concert scene, which is obviously what they wanted to do.

i think that, unlike Glastonbury (which has never been all that profitable anyway, and is basically subsidised by sponsors, TV rights, and being a working farm 11 months a year), ATP is actually drawing from a very small pool of artists and is selling to an extremely niche market, both of which are either getting older or getting bored with the format.

basically, I think there's probably a natural limit to the size of business that their customer base can sustain, and they greatly exceeded it, and consequently it seems a lot of other people have lost a lot of money. seems they always prioritised the small guys, which is good, but they also seem to have made a lot of pretty bad decisions along the way that left the punters out of pocket too. that's just not justified by any measure.

Shellac is easily my favourite live band, but the point was that I'm not going to keep paying for the festival weekend when they are basically the only real draw on the bill. still might go to december's festival, but if i had to fly over for it or make any kind of firm booking around it, i wouldn't dare.
 

pavlos

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A very interesting piece, had been wondering about all the goings on, cheers for the link.
 

hugh

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well you say in your first paragraph that it was mad to run 3-4 festivals a year and lost its allure (and don't forget the one off gigs, the 'dont look back' shows, the stages at primavera etc) but then go on to say that the festival hasn't got a sell-by date.

perhaps if it was once a year it would still be profitable, but it wouldn't have had much of a turnover, and then it wouldn't be enough to make a living off - never mind build up a record label, and become big movers in the london concert scene, which is obviously what they wanted to do.

Yeah true. Maybe they were caught up in a situation whereby they had to expand their "empire" in order to generate enough profits for a bunch of people to make a reasonable living off it but they over-reached themselves and thereby both ran into financial problems and damaged what was special and unique about it in the first place. I would still hope that it's a viable thing to keep doing, but I totally agree that they need to expand their customer base beyond the likes of me, because the likes of me don't get out that much. When they announce a weekend curated by someone I have only vaguely heard of, then that will probably be a good sign.

Still on the fence about the Shellac one in December. Big draw for me is that there is a decent pub on the premises. And The Ex.
 

oh shit

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Yeah true. Maybe they were caught up in a situation whereby they had to expand their "empire" in order to generate enough profits for a bunch of people to make a reasonable living off it but they over-reached themselves and thereby both ran into financial problems and damaged what was special and unique about it in the first place. I would still hope that it's a viable thing to keep doing, but I totally agree that they need to expand their customer base beyond the likes of me, because the likes of me don't get out that much. When they announce a weekend curated by someone I have only vaguely heard of, then that will probably be a good sign.

Still on the fence about the Shellac one in December. Big draw for me is that there is a decent pub on the premises. And The Ex.

I agree, it actually does look like a good one. And the return to camber sands is also a bonus, just for the experience. My favourite ATP gig was when they put Shellac on in the highbury garage at 12noon on 1st January 2011. Filled the place too, everyone severely hungover or still pissed. no support acts, just 3 hours of pure Shellac.
 

hermie

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Hopefully they learn a new set for this one, it's been exactly the same the last 3 times I saw them, right down to the banter.

ATP is my favourite festival hands down. In fairness to Barry Hogan et al it's always very well organised, they did well to make it this far without going down the corporate sponsorship route. I'm not excusing what look to be some questionable decisions. And clearly, as has been said, they probably over-reached too early. But they do come across as genuine folk and I'm not too concerned about my ticket for November's show. These guys aren't Bloc
 

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