Bosses of Brighton Festival Fringe are taking legal action against a company which it claims has not paid artists.

The organisation said it understands that Futuretents, the company which ran the Freerange tent at St Peter’s Church during the fringe in May, is unable to pay some promoters and suppliers due to financial difficulties.

The fringe is not a programmed festival like the main Brighton Festival. It is completely open access, which means the fringe does not directly run any venues or put on events.

Anyone can register an event if they pay the registration fee. Some participants register directly with the fringe, on an individual basis, while others have their events registered for them by the venue, which is what happened with most of the promoters at Freerange.

Heather James, chairwoman of the fringe board, said: “This is a deeply regrettable situation: it is unacceptable that any promoters or suppliers should be left owing money by a fringe venue.

“I should make clear that Freerange is an entirely separate organisation from the fringe, and that the fringe has fulfilled all its contracts and legal obligations by paying in full all promoters and venues that registered directly with the fringe.

“We were not aware that Freerange were in financial difficulties until after we had paid out all money owing to them from fringe ticket sales, as we were legally bound to do. We have formally requested that they pay over any money due to promoters and suppliers.

“As stated above, we deeply regret the current situation. The fringe is also owed money by Futuretents, and is involved in legal action to try and recover this. We hope that any promoters or suppliers who have been left out of pocket by Futuretents may still be able to recover their money.

“Anyone who registers directly with the fringe can have every confidence that they will always be paid in full and that the fringe will fulfil all its legal obligations.”

Future Tents was not available for comment.