Threat to chart-toppers' Suffolk gig

MORE than 3,000 music fans could be left out of pocket after an open-air concert by pop group McFly was plunged into doubt. The group, whose hits include Five Colours In Her Hair, Obviously and All About You, are due to headline a show in Ipswich's Christchurch Park on July 29.

MORE than 3,000 music fans could be left out of pocket after an open-air concert by pop group McFly was plunged into doubt.

The group, whose hits include Five Colours In Her Hair, Obviously and All About You, are due to headline a show in Ipswich's Christchurch Park on July 29.

But the event was placed in jeopardy last night after it emerged concert promoter John Hessenthaler Productions Ltd had gone into administration.

It means that organisers now need to raise £30,000 sponsorship money in less than two-and-a-half weeks if the gig is to go ahead.


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So far, 3,600 fans have bought tickets for the concert, at £25.50 each plus a booking fee, but only around 200 of these are guaranteed to receive a refund because they purchased tickets after the company went into administration.

It also means that the Prom in the Park concert, which is taking place in Christchurch Park the following day, could also be in doubt because the two events were due to share the same facilities.

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Steven Law, a partner with Ensors accountants in Ipswich, who is heading the administration team, said last night: "The fact that John Hessenthaler Productions is in administration means that it is insolvent and the situation is that the McFly concert in Ipswich is at risk of not going ahead.

"Unfortunately because of the cash squeeze on the company all the monies raised through ticket sales before my appointment are not available to me.

"As a result we need £30,000 if we are able to run the concert. I'm hoping that we might be able to generate enough publicity for a white knight or a group of white knights to come forward and save the day.

"Time is of the essence because the concert is only two-and-a-half weeks away and hopefully an organisation or a group of organisations can be found by the end of the week."

He added: "If we can't do that then 3,400 ticket holders will basically not get their money back. Ticket sales after June 20 will be refunded but before that it is difficult unless they have paid by credit card."

Rock concert promoters John Hessenthaler Productions Ltd, whose registered office is in Colchester, went into administration on June 20.

The company had been staging gigs for more than 20 years and had previously promoted performances by artists including Will Young and Jools Holland.

Last year, it promoted pop band Busted's sell-out show in Christchurch Park, with McFly in support.

Mr Law added: "We would probably be looking for a minimum sponsorship of £5,000 each, which means we could have up six people or companies helping out.

"We have been in touch with McFly and they have said that they want to do it. They enjoyed the gig last year with Busted and want to come back as a way to kick off their national tour.

"We want to see the show go on. We want to come up with a way to put the show on because it would be good for Ipswich and for Suffolk.

"It has to be said that further ticket sales have not been holding out very well. We have sold 3,600 in total but only 250 in the last two weeks. There are still plenty of tickets left to be sold."

Anyone who is interested in sponsoring the concert should call Mr Law or Nigel Mayhew at Ensors on 01473 220022.

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