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Ticket holders wait for answers as company behind Ever After Music Festival in active bankruptcy


Some ticket holders say they have already cut their losses after the Ever After Music Festival was cancelled less than a week before it was slated to start.

“Now it’s kind of like waiting to see if we are ever going to see that money or not, I doubt it,” said Michal Bernolak, ticket holder.

Bernolak said he was out nearly $600 for tickets and other expenses after he flew in from Australia.

“I planned to be here at some point to visit family, but I planned around it and obviously sunk quiet a bit of money into it,” Bernolak said.

He is one of the thousands of ticket holders waiting to hear if refunds will be issued.

This comes as the cancellation of the event was announced through social media on Friday.

The popular electronic dance festival was slated to run Aug. 11 to 14 at Burl’s Creek after leasing the land from the venue.

“This was our vacation together as friends and family, and now even if we decide to do something, we are out $2000,” said Brynlee Walton, ticket holder.

Two years ago, the pandemic put the event on pause, which until this year was run by Beyond Oz Productions.

CTV News has since learned the company filed for bankruptcy last December, claiming more than $5.6 million in total liabilities.

According to Ever After’s website, Unity Travel, a long-time partner of the festival, took over as the “primary platform” for the 2022 event.

“That’s the confusing part too,” said Walton. “Where is our ticket money, is it with Unity Travel, is it Beyond Oz, is it Ever After?”

In 2020 the festival was a recipient of a Celebrate Ontario Grant worth $100,000 from the Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture.

Then in 2021, it was a successful recipient of the Reconnect Festival and Event Program, receiving $250,000.

However, the Ministry told CTV News in an email, “a transfer payment agreement (TPA) was never executed, as Beyond Oz Productions withdrew from the grant, and no 2021 grant funding flowed to the organization.”

“As a requirement of funding, Ministry staff work closely with grant recipients to ensure that projects are carried out as outlined in the TPAs and that they support only approved funding expenses. Final reports are required by all recipients to confirm results and use of government grants.”

For those like Walton and Bernolak, who purchased tickets before the pandemic, their only options were holding onto their tickets or repurposing them.

That meant adding them to a queue to be re-sold for this year’s cancelled event.

“We were only going for the simple fact, we bought the tickets so long ago and that’s when we saw that the permits didn’t go through,” said Walton.

On July 21, the festival was denied a special events permit from Oro Medonte after it did not receive the proper approvals from various agencies.

CTV News also learned at least two of the hotels featured on Ever After’s website never received payment, including Aloft Vaughn Mills and the Residence & Conference Centre in Barrie.

Matt Rattray, the general manager of Aloft said in an email that a block of rooms had been requested with a cut-off date of June 27.

“Unfortunately, no rooming list was provided prior to the cut-off date with the agreed payment so the block of rooms was cancelled and released,” said Rattray.

“All reservations made directly through the Aloft Vaughan Mills by the individual attendees planning on attending the event will remain in place and can be cancelled without a cancellation fee outside the 48-hour time frame as agreed at the time their reservation was made.”

Jenni Thompson, a spokesperson for the Residence & Conference Centre on Georgian College campus also told CTV News in an email, “The group block was made through Unity Travel who was supposed to coordinate bookings and collection of payments through their own system.”

“Unity Travel failed to meet the obligations of their contract with us, which caused us to cancel their block. We did not receive required payments for the rooms.”

There is still no word on whether or not refunds will be issued.

CTV News reached out to Unity Travel by phone and email but has not yet heard back. Top Stories

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