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Inaugural Jabberwocky Festival Canceled Three Days Before Start

Jabberwocky
Kevin Winter/Karl Walter, Getty Images

If you’re reading this on a transatlantic flight to the first ever Jabberwocky Festival in London, you might want to find a travel-sized pillow to scream into.

Less than 72 hours before the massive festival was to kick off at the ExCel Centre, All Tomorrow’s Parties — one of the organizers along with Pitchfork and Primavera Sound — announced the event is canceled due to poor ticket sales, according to Consequence of Sound. The lineup was to include Neutral Milk Hotel and James Blake (pictured above) along with Darkside, Caribou, Kurt Vile, Sun Kil Moon, Panda Bear, Cloud Nothings and many more.

Festival organizer Barry Hogan, with All Tomorrow’s Parties, said in a statement there just wasn’t enough money to cover expenses.

We have put everything into promoting Jabberwocky, and despite healthy ticket sales; all our efforts could not take those sales to the point that we needed to finally stage the event. Over the past month and all the way up until this moment we have tried every possible course of action to follow through in delivering Jabberwocky to you, but the position we unfortunately find ourselves in as a result of a succession of events that have lost money in an increasingly aggressive festival market, means we are no longer able to do so. In the past ATP has weathered losses such as this and gone on with the show, taking huge direct financial blows as an independent company. But on this occasion, with an event of this scale and the high production costs that come with it — if we had gone ahead; it would have 100% been the end of ATP. We do not take this decision lightly and it was the hardest we’ve ever had to make. All other ATP Presents shows will go ahead as planned, including ATP Iceland with our local partners there in 2015.

What’s even more shocking is that All Tomorrow’s Parties tweeted just last week that the show was close to selling out, but that was apparently a marketing tactic:

News of the cancellation surprised both fans and musicians already in London or en route. Tweets from bands like Speedy Ortiz and the Bug indicate that some acts will be booking alternate shows in the London area. Refunds will be available at the point of purchase.

Here’s a little taste of what everyone won’t be seeing now:

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