Published Jul 11, 2013Last month, Calgary's Sled Island was forced to cancel the festival halfway through the event due to the devastating flood conditions that gripped the city and other parts of Alberta. Now that the city has set its sights on recovery, Sled organizers have begun to deal with the aftermath of the natural disaster.
A statement issued today (July 11) notes that organizers have begun the long process of assessing their losses, which stem from non-refundable expenses for artist, venue, promotional and production fees, as well as through ticket refunds.
"First of all, our hearts go out to everyone who has been displaced or suffered tragic loss as a result of the 2013 floods," the festival posted. "We hope that everyone is safe and on the road to recovery. We would like to again thank you for your patience, understanding and the overall character you have all shown during difficult times."
As previously reported, the festival was cancelled on the morning of June 21 after an unprecedented rainfall swept through the city, flooding downtown Calgary and its surrounding neighbourhoods to the point where areas needed to be evacuated for days at a time. Sled Island estimates that the emergency situation has left them with roughly 70 percent of non-refundable expenses, with losses projected at over $200,000. Insurance policies could not cover the full extent of the damage brought on by the flood.
"Sled Island artists, partners and providers have been gracious and understanding across the board and helped us to cut significant expenses. However, the cancellation of shows does not excuse the festival from many non-refundable expenses, including artist, marketing, rental and production fees associated with shows that occurred, but also for the shows that were cancelled, which include non-refundable deposits and travel expenses."
While festivalgoers have been inquiring about refunds for the cancelled gigs, reimbursements of festival passes have not yet been confirmed.
"A significant portion of our revenue comes from passes and individual tickets with additional income from beer sales made during the festival (primarily the Friday and Saturday of the festival, which did not occur). If we were to refund every individual ticket and pass holder, we would lose three significant streams of income, projected to have been $500,000."
Organizers report, however, that starting today, online ticket purchases for single shows can be refunded through Ticketfly. Purchases made at local retailers or directly at the Sled Island office will be refunded from tomorrow onwards.
Despite the losses, Sled Island is expected to return in 2014.
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