Festival’s future uncertain after bills left unpaid

The Hoosiers headlined Gosfest this year
The Hoosiers headlined Gosfest this year
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ORGANISERS of a festival in Gosport are at loggerheads over unpaid bills worth thousands of pounds.

The future of GosFest has been shrouded in doubt after Paul Cobb and Dave Smith each claim the other must pay around £12,000 owed to firms.

The four-day community festival, held at Walpole Park, Gosport and headlined by The Hoosiers, attracted thousands of revellers in August.

Both Mr Cobb and Mr Smith are listed as event organisers in an event management plan.

Mr Cobb is the sole director of Gosport Festivals Limited, the firm that ran it this year.

With the two deadlocked in argument there are doubts over whether the festival will be held next year in its current form. However, both want to run a similar event next August – separately.

Mr Smith said: ‘He has no chance of running the festival next year unless he pays all the money up front.

‘He can’t pay the money up front because he hasn’t paid this year’s money yet.’

Outstanding invoices include one for £6,000 owed to Yorkshire firm Dezign Audio.

It supplied the sound and lighting equipment. Another firm is owed around £6,300.

But Mr Cobb, an IT consultant, says he is not responsible.

He told The News Mr Smith’s firm DLP Festivals Management dealt with the firms that have not been paid, not him. Mr Smith denies this and says the bills are not his.

Mr Cobb said: ‘There’s no problem with setting up next year’s festival.

‘It’s their bills that are the problem, everything that’s been billed to my company has been paid off.

‘I was working alongside Dave because he had access to the bands and things like that.

‘The pretence that we went under was that I’d run the festival and Dave would book the bands.

‘After a few months Dave started trying to take over, booking stuff on his own.’

Mr Smith said Mr Cobb must pay him the cash to pay the firms or pay them directly.

In previous years the festival was backed by the council.

But this year it agreed to waive the £4,400 cost of hiring Walpole Park for 10 days.

Mr Cobb had asked the council to waive the fee.

Lib Dem opposition leader Cllr Peter Chegwyn told The News the decision should be looked into. In response, Tory council leader Cllr Mark Hook said each application was judged on its own merit.