Page last updated at 10:12 GMT, Friday, 28 August 2009 11:12 UK

Organiser's sadness over festival

Joe Pidgeon
Joe Pidgeon said he blamed himself for the cancellation of the festival

The organiser of a music festival due to have been held in East Sussex this weekend has said he is devastated by its cancellation.

The four-day Beachdown Festival, near Devils Dyke on the South Downs, was to feature The Zutons and Grace Jones.

Joe Pidgeon said he was forced to axe it because he could not raise enough funding with the banks to pay key suppliers in advance.

The economic climate and slow ticket sales were also blamed.

"We just needed the support of our bank and... these suppliers, and it would have been fine, we would've done it," said Mr Pidgeon.

This was to have been the second year of the Beachdown Festival.

"Beachdown was a representation about what is best about Brighton.

"It's something we work very hard to pull off and it's just devastating that we haven't been able to manage it," said Mr Pidgeon.

'Unauthorised events'

Almost £500,000 was paid to suppliers in advance of the festival, with £80,000 of it to singer Grace Jones.

But organisers said they were short by about £78,000 which the banks, they said, refused to lend them.

Tents in place for the Beachdown Festival
Tents had already been erected in preparation for the festival

Mr Pidgeon said he was not blaming anybody for having to cancel the event.

"I certainly am not saying that I don't blame myself... I'll be beating myself up for months about this," he said.

Fans have been told to contact the agencies from where they bought tickets for information about refunds.

It is believed up to 6,000 tickets were sold.

Sussex Police fear many people could still turn up to stage an unauthorised event or encourage alternative outdoor events in Brighton and Hove.

Ch Insp Simon Nelson said: "Although we recognise the disappointment felt by the ticket holders, we have every intention of preventing any unlawful outdoor events which are likely to cause a nuisance to the surrounding communities, and this includes the beach."



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