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It's based on interviews with Barry Hogan, several creditors and an examination of the administrator's report, and yes some tweets and board posts which flesh out the story.
it contains some interesting stuff i guess. union chapel lost £11k? horrid.
They are just owed it. It's an asset, rather than a liability. Fairly standard practice for this kind of accounting even in non music companies.
A Butlins spokesperson said they chose to end their relationship with ATP after the firm started advertising The National event without having signed a contract, and when they still owed £352,000.
Groening lost them half a million quid alone.
And his bands weren't all 20-piece groups from africa and the far east.
I think that was a more 'ATP' choice of curator, plus it wasn't just before the Pavement one. I bet it was relatively ok.
With only a few exceptions most seem to accept that this is the nature of promoting concerts and essentially you have to take the rough with the smooth. There certainly is a lot of goodwill towards ATP within the industry which may explain this, plus the industry is somewhat incestuous - so whereas Butlins could reasonably say they'll never work with ATP again and still survive it's much less likely that an artist or supplier would say that. It does seem likely (inevitable?) though that sponsorship will have to play a much bigger part in keeping not just ATP but other promoters afloat.
and you are one of many, you are going to be positive about them in the press aren't you? As soon as you say "fuck em, they screwed me over" you move to the back of the queue.
As the company has gone into administration it's within the power of the creditors to claim what they're owed and they could, for example, challenge the transfer of the ATP brand to the new firm. In administration the "queue" is managed by the administrators, what you say in the press has no bearing on that. The point I think is that because the music industry is so closely knit it's not in the interest of many of those creditors for ATP to fail and it does also seem to be the case that people genuinely like working with them.
I see what you are saying, spot on.
He hides it pretty well.
Some of the figures are absolutely fucking mind-boggling, but overall it's surprisingly upbeat. It certainly doesn't read like the obituary I was fearing. And kudos to Alex Marshall for pulling it all together.
I let out a loud chuckle at "a man calling himself JimmyHuntspill", too.
Great article though, very illuminating. Good on ATP for finally openign up, even if it is far too late now really..
Fucking hell. I spent £200 on train tickets for four people, and my brother and his girlfriend each spent £100 on flights for this.
Flipping heck. I spent £200 on train tickets for four people, and my brother and his girlfriend each spent £100 on flights for this.
i like scottish people
but now I realise they're just stupid.
If you're losing money on your undersold festivals, why continue to put on the same artists in the same sized venue up to three times a year? And you think that's going to help you make back the money you owe? Moronic.
Ignore your customer research, and fail to investigate potentially lucrative sponsorship deals? Good one.
Given that I'll Be Your Mirror's have been met with a mix of under attendance and logistical problems, is it a strong brand that you should still be pushing after your liquidation? Of course not.
They attempted to recover debts by setting up larger and riskier ventures, and continuing to operate failing ones. Apart from the move forced upon them to downsize ATP to Camber, I haven't seen evidence of positive actions to address these problems, and unless they employ someone with enough business sense to run the company ATP will go under. Permanently.
This should serve as a last warning to sort their act out.
It is just not profitable to promote independent music right now. I think the problem is that ATP cannot exist in any form.
That's worrying. I'll say it once and I'll say it again: who else could step up and do what ATP does?
Eat Your Own Ears couldn't organise a pissup in a brewery.
Likewise for those behind Bloc, as we saw.
Everyone else is too small and too niche.
Festivals that were once a roaring success at what they do (Big Chill, Truck, ATP, Bloc etc. etc.) have all found big problems from trying to expand in a climate where it's completely un-viable, and at a pace which doesn't allow for failure.
You can make money from promoting independent music, but yeah, you have to realise it's a niche. Yes you can make money to cover you're bills and shit, but plans to turn your business into a multi million pound enterprise should clearly be approached very cautiously.
But I think it's probably because he really believes in what he's doing and genuinely genuinely loves the music.
which I think most people on here would agree is important to keep. People like the option to go to an 'ATP gig' which wouldn't otherwise be picked up by other promoters. The thing is there aren't enough of them or they're not parting with enough of their cash. I think the rise in ticket prices due to venue rental prices is a big factor in all of this.
And numerous other events in the UK and overseas.
No wonder they spread their niche target market too thin across their events, and ended up shooting themselves in the foot.
At the same time, they apparently failed in promoting events that should be a license to print money (that Flaming Lips ATP event in NY should have been a guaranteed sell out).
They do have a very welcoming market, and there is a sustainable business in there somewhere, but they need someone who can run a business properly to sort their shit out.
debt is an asset. Unless the debt is cancelled, it is an asset; NOT a liability. Debt owed is accounted for as a + rather than a -
As such, the most irresponsible thing Barry could do is to shut down entirely and cancel all his debts. That would be incredibly damaging to the entire UK independent music business, by the looks of it.
for a day but the Flaming Lips ATP in NYC was by no means empty, couldn't have been far from a sellout.
``In particular, [ATP] blames festivals in the US. Events curated by My Bloody Valentine, The Flaming Lips and film director Jim Jarmusch lost a total of £520,000.``
I think they're in a very uncomfortable position which would have been nearly impossible to anticipate at the height of their success
isn't a huge problem if you're
I don't know what it is about festivals/promoters but they feel the need (like any business, really) to expand and grow their businesses. But... why? ATP 6 years ago had carved out a small niche of excellence in a corner of a market. It's the desire to GET BIGGER (although not through dishonest greed means, admittedly) that appears to have caused a number of their problems. ATP didn't need to grow! It was doing what it was doing excellently!
If ATP had stayed small and humble (actually, not sure if its ever been humble...) then it might have had a chance to sort stuff out without having to liquidate, I'd wager.
... servicing that debt or have sufficient cashflow projections to pay it back. ATP overstretched certainly but given the success they were having it was the logical thing for them to do.
As they tried to expand to put on more events to rake in more money to cover their debt, that debt actually started to spiral out of control. They went from a manageable level of debt, to one that was completely unsustainable.
As a commercial prospect, it takes the sheen of an ATP if there are three per year. Rather than think they can't miss out, fans will be content to wait and see what the next line up is, or the next a few months after that, or wait until they can afford to go to the one in Melbourne, or New York, or LA, or Japan.
Plus they will have had the opportunity to see all the bands at the host of ATP promoted gigs throughout the year.
This is the time to reign the business in, look what it does well, and then focus on those areas. Grow slowly in areas where the business is succeeding *in the current climate*, not in the past. But as I said, I very much doubt they have taken any of this on board, and look to continue as per usual.
Pretty big change that...
.. ATP should have been public with all this information from the get go? I can't really think of any company who actively tells all its customers about its debts and the behind the scenes going on.
labels, shops, promoters, venues who are running with amounts of debt that would definitely surprise people. hell, plenty of non-music-related businesses too.
there's no evil/dishonour in not telling the general public that - every business does it. the irony is that through this ATP seems to have been more honourable than most to those they owe. it's sad that it's their principles that have got them into a mess rather than their lack of.
about the debt/asset thing? I can't quite get my head around it.
Also, what does this mean to all the bands that have played their festivals/gigs recently? Are they still waiting to get paid too?
I dont understand this debt/asset thing either, surely old debt die with the old company, yeah creditors might get a proportion back from the sale of the assets but after that I dont think there is any legal requirement to pay off the debts by the new company, they are doing it by choice so good on them but it doesnt seem realistic really given the level of debt
will be put on their accounts as a positive figure rather than a negative figure. As such, even if the debt is not paid, but providing it is still scheduled to be payed (ie the debtee hasn't declared bankruptcy on a business and personal level) then the creditor isn't 'in the red'.
At a certain level it becomes problematic, especially for small businesses which is why ATP got taken to court by a PA hire company. But equally at a certain level, having money owed to you is a big positive - it means that you have income due to arrive. Looking at who ATP owes to, they owe comparatively small figures to smaller companies which shows they have been trying to not run up huge debts with those who need debt owed to be more regularly paid back.
yeah but surely once a company legally ceases to exist, its creditors can't count on what is owed them anymore, I know theyve said they intend to pay it back but thats not the same as legally being owed the money
Anyway, regardless of your thoughts on ATP and Barry, they are unlikely to cut and run on Union Chapel, I think we can agree?
Probably not the union chapel but I think some will lose out, whilst the intention to pay everyone back is admirable it is kind of unrealistic, almost a denial of the circumstances that led to their liquidation in the first place, maybe sponsors will be enough to fix it I guess we will see
It would be in the hands of the liquidators now, and their job would be to share out the money evenly (so everyone gets paid 40% of what they're owed, or everyone gets 85%, or whatever). Pretty sure that they can't favour one creditor over another. So the money that was owed by the "Old" ATP would be split this way.
OTOH, Barry and Wilwal could presumably choose to sort Union Chapel from their funds, if they wanted to.
out here in Australia last time, that must have been disastrous
You'd think so, otherwise see people up there when they talk about not learning lessons.
I've just looked at the Sydney lineup and it strikes me there's a lot of Australian acts there and not many big names from abroad - particularly not many who have a lot of members or need a lot of kit bringing over. So completely unlike this one (primarily thinking of gybe and Neubauten, but Swans and MBV figure in the thinking as well). It'd be interesting to see whether MBV's PA demands were what cost so much money in the US (or even what added so much to the PA unpaid costs in the UK), and therefore why anybody thinks it's a good idea again.
and that's what they used for the minehead weekend. might be bollocks though.
still a bunch of bands to be announced yet, and tickets have just about sold out. I was more talking about the last time ATP was out here, curated by Nick Cave. In a ski resort in Victoria (Mt Buller), as well as events and Sydney and Brisbane, with various sideshows as well. I am pretty sure every event was pretty drastically under-attended. Barry said on radio out here that they took a pretty huge hit financially. Looks like this new event will be a winner though, but then again only having 5000 people each day it must have a fairly tight profit margin
Though I'm eager to know how they ever expected the Matt Groening etc etc to make any money. I've no idea of attendance in relation to capacity but they lost circa £500,000, so to break even in basic ticket sales (ignoring anything they lose from the ticket price at 150 is 3,333) which is about 2/3's of the capacity of Butlins?
That's nothing but terrible business. You don't have your break even point at or near capacity, and if you do, you can expect nothing but debts to rack up.
I said it in the other thread, and you touch on it here by questioning the break even points, so I'll repeat it.
The rate debts grew at was equivalent to all your events breaking even except one - a Minehead festival you put on to a capacity audience where you didn't charge anybody. Let's use the Matt Groening festival as example. That looks like a huge loss, right? Well that scale of loss was happening every year (the company records in the London Gazette submission confirms this), with all the other festivals only breaking even. Just as a memory jog, they were Pavement, gybe and B&S. If you're only just breaking even across those three, you're doing it wrong. If you're making a loss elsewhere to the point where it consumes the profit from those three, you're doing it wrong.
Doing what you love, but at the same time digging a massive hole you know you'll never get out of and that some people were going to get hurt along the way. But still, here are some awesome vinyl toys!
How has this impacted people that signed up to those dodgy looking gold and silver membership things?
Costs were the same for The National irrespective of location (although interestingly the ticket is for Nightmare Before Christmas so couldn't have been honoured at time of offer since The National is ATP and not NBC) so cost neutral. Although looking at what the offer comprised, ATP basically gave gold members a free ticket for IBYM which in retrospect smacks of desperation to get money into your account.
was free this year for previous members (don't think they opened it up to new people). I get emailed occasionally about 2 for 1 deals, or a ticket pre-sale but they're quite infrequent.
I'd say it's definitely been worth the cost though for me (year's membership at Prince Charles Cinema, got tickets for Mogwai@Hoxton Bar and Kitchen and Jeff Mangum through them, free ticket for Public Enemy and various 2 for 1s).