Dear festival guests, dear friends, dear supporters
If there is one thing the pandemic has taught us, it is that things don't always turn out the way you think they will. Who would have thought that the virus and the pandemic would reach these heights and cause us such long-term restrictions?
Thus, for us too, things have turned out differently than expected. After having to cope with various situations since the beginning of the pandemic, we always hoped for a light at the end of the tunnel, especially when we announced in November of 2021 that we were in the middle of preparations for 2022 and that there would be another festival.
WITH A VERY HEAVY HEART, WE REGRET TO INFORM YOU THAT OUR HOPES FOR THE LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL HAS EXTINGUISHED.
In what follows, we want to explain our situation to you, and be completely transparent as to why our project has come to an end.
Our start in 2015 was really not easy and we had to struggle with huge deficits. Therefore, we had to take out a loan of roughly €90,000 during the first two years to keep the festival going. Only after the festival in 2019 did we no longer have losses, however, with all the income we had, we had to pay our loan installments. We want to emphasize that up until 2019, not one of the Monticule Festival organizers had received any money for their hard work and dedication. On the contrary, bills were always paid through private channels when money was tight. As for 2020, the prospects were positive for the first time: the festival was almost sold out by February, and we had nearly cut the debt from the loan in half by then. Unfortunately, for obvious reasons, the 2020 festival never took place. Since then, the loan could not be paid off any further, and remains to this day.
Since the beginning of the pandemic back in Spring of 2020, we refunded many tickets. At the same time, we were forced to postpone the festival again and again: From June 2020 to September 2020, from September 2020 to June 2021 and from June 2021 to June 2022. But every postponement costs a lot of money: service providers had to be paid, flights had to be booked, investments had to be made for the required infrastructure. At the same time, we as the organizers also have running costs such as rent for storage space, tax advice, insurance, and several other small expenses that add up. Therefore, we didn't have any income, on the contrary, we were refunding tickets.
In autumn 2021, we had everything in motion with a festival planned for June 2022. We were counting on selling some tickets during the winter months, like in previous years. Unfortunately, that didn't happen. We already had a lot of tickets circulating and for some people it was probably not quite clear if and how a festival could take place, what the travel regulations would look like until then or how the pandemic would develop. For many guests, we are not a festival just around the corner and due to being a smaller festival we also have always had to fight for every guest. Monticule depended on the people who were willing to undertake such a long journey and the idea of being able to move around Europe easily. But ever since the pandemic started, instead of selling tickets, more and more guests wanted their tickets refunded. To this day, this has not changed, and has caused our bank balance to decrease and drain.
Ultimately, you can't organize a festival without income and money to work with. Unfortunately, the chance of receiving any financial help, such as cultural funding, is extremely limited for a festival like ours. As a German company with a festival in France, neither the German nor French state can offer us financial support; there is no cultural funding coming from Germany because the festival takes place in France; there is no French funding because we are a German company. The very last option would be to take out another large loan, which we would have to pay off with our private money over a very long period of time if - in the worst case - the plan were to fail for whatever reason. But in the current times, we neither want nor are we able to take this risk anymore.
For the reasons mentioned above and with an incredibly heavy heart, in the first week of February we filed for bankruptcy. Which means that the company will be liquidated and there will be no festival in 2022. A liquidator is going to decide about the further course of action.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR YOU?
Some of you are probably wondering what will happen to your tickets. As for now, we do know that anyone who bought their ticket after 15.11.2021 will automatically get their money back, as it is still being held in the account of our ticket service provider. Unfortunately, we cannot make any definite statements regarding the rest of you who purchased tickets before 15.11.2021, as all further decisions have to be made within the liquidation process.
The last 7 years have been incredibly exciting, intense, and educational. Despite countless sleepless nights and numerous ups and downs, we still managed to get together five times at the Domaine de Gayfié. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all the people who made Monticule Festival what it was. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts and we will never forget you!