Big Stooshie: ‘Great idea but bad timing’

The managing director of north east Fife’s ill-fated Big Stooshie music festival has blamed the current financial crisis for a lack of ticket sales, which ultimately led to the event not paying its way or reaching its £100,000 target for Help for Heroes and SSAFA.

Announcing that the company behind the venture had gone bust, leaving behind numerous unpaid debts, Jim Russell said any efforts to make the company viable had become “untenable within the time scale required”.

Mr Russell said: “It is with huge personal regret that I acknowledge that some businesses and individuals have not, and will not, be paid in full for their services at the Big Stooshie festival.

“While we have received incredible and selfless demonstrations of support from some of our creditors, of course there are many who feel deeply dissatisfied with the situation.

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“I completely understand these grievances and at this point can only comment that any commitments were made in good faith and I believed that funds would be available to pay everyone after the event.”

Mr Russell said he accepted complete responsibility for the financial failure of the event.

He said he had covered many costs himself and the event held at the Howe of Fife Country Centre in May, had left him and his family with “serious financial worries.”

“I explained that the event did not have any substantial financial backing and all costs would be funded exclusively by ticket sales revenue,” he said.

“To fund the project, the vast majority of the costs were paid by me personally with none of the money invested repaid to me.

“This personal investment means that I am by far the largest creditor to Big Stooshie Productions Ltd. by way of my directors loan.

“Additionally, I ‘donated’ all the profits made from the bar, to pay the costs across the three days.

“This was supposed to be ring fenced from the outset as a small personal income for 18 months of unpaid work.

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Mr Russell went on: “The impression that most of the contractors where not paid is simply not true.

“The majority of the overall costs were settled before the event through personal investment and advance ticket sales.

“It is true, however, that there were insufficient funds after Sunday to pay the majority of the invoices due on the day or invoices due for payment after the event.”

Thanking all of the volunteers for their help with the event, he added: “It is with sad realisation that all this effort and dedication would have been hailed as a massive success if the turnout was just a bit better.

“My personal conclusion is that it is a sign of the difficult financial times we live in. Great idea but bad timing.”