A COUPLE who had hoped to attend a festival have slammed organisers after it was cancelled due to a lack of toilets.

But six weeks on, many people are still waiting for their refunds from One World festival, with organisers citing an issue with its payment company.

It was initially planned for June 4 and 5 in Stanmer Park, Brighton, and pushed back until “either 20/21 or 27/28 August” after it could not source enough toilets.

But in mid-June it was rescheduled for next year after they were unable to commit to the new dates due to supply issues.

The Argus: The festival said it had trouble sourcing toiletsThe festival said it had trouble sourcing toilets

Ticket holders were devastated when they found out about the cancellation, as many had made specific arrangements to attend, with one person saying via social media they were coming from Australia for the event.

But tempers frayed further when the festival dithered on refunds, initially offering 70 per cent of the ticket cost back, with the remaining 30 per cent as a voucher for next year’s weekender.

Morgana Dill and her boyfriend, who bought tickets for the festival, said they were disappointed with the response they received from One World.

“I understand that things like this happen. It’s understandable,” said Morgana, who lives in Bevendean.

“It was just the way they reacted to the emails when people had asked for refunds.

“They dismissed the fact people were paying money to support them. People are going to get annoyed with them.”

The festival sold 75 per cent of its tickets before deciding to call it off, which drew widespread criticism from people who had hoped to enjoy a weekend of jazz, reggae and hip hop.

The Argus: Stanmer ParkStanmer Park

One World said in an email to ticketholders that “when we initially booked the dates with the council, we didn’t realise it was the jubilee weekend and we would be competing against thousands of new events, for which there were not enough toilets in the UK.

“So, when this supplier informed us he had enough toilets we paid then a 100 per cent full fee immediately.

“We were so gutted when this happened. We tried to reschedule the date, but it was an uphill battle which we couldn’t overcome.”

The festival’s social media pages have since been plagued with bad reviews, with many people vowing never to attend.

Morgana said she would “probably not” go to next year’s festival.

“It doesn’t seem to have been that well organised,” she said.

“It makes people think that something is going on.”

Responding to the last minute cancellation and refund chaos, Matt Richardson, the press officer for One World, said around 80 per cent of those who requested a refund have now had one.

The Argus: The festival was cancelledThe festival was cancelled

“The problem we encountered was that Stripe - who were dealing with the payments via Ticket Tailor, one of the ticket platforms we were using - was only going to release the ticket income after the event had taken place, and as it was postponed the money is still in their account.

“It took us nearly six weeks of communications with Stripe for us to understand how we could refund customers even if the money was not in our account and through their dashboard.

“Unfortunately, we are having to do these individually as a vast amount of customers opted to retain their tickets or get a partial refund with a voucher for the event in 2023.”

Mr Richardson said that anyone who has requested a full refund will receive one, and that he hopes this will be completed by the first week of August.

Stripe declined to comment on the individual case, but said that it is not unusual for them to hold fund until an event has taken place, especially if it a one-off.

“We take our obligation to protect consumers very seriously," a spokeswoman said. 

"If a business presents an elevated risk for its end customers, we apply reserves on its Stripe account to ensure funds are available to cover future refunds for those customers.

"These types of reserves do not impact a business’s ability to pay back its customers.”

Stripe advises customers to contact their bank should an event be cancelled or if organisers refuse a refund.