Organisers pull plug on city’s X Music Festival

A MUSIC festival expected to attract thousands of revellers to the Capital has been quietly cancelled just a few weeks before it was set to launch.
Ja Rule on stage. Picture: Jamie McCarthy/Getty ImagesJa Rule on stage. Picture: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images
Ja Rule on stage. Picture: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

The X Music Festival hoped to draw 20,000 music fans to watch DJs and rappers across five stages in Gypsy Brae Park, West Shore Road, on May 22 and 23.

Acts such as hip-hop legend Ja Rule, electronic band Clean Bandit and Radio 1 DJ Annie Mac were among those set to headline the two-day event.

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But after organisers Unilife
Events announced Ja Rule had been forced to pull out last month over “ongoing visa issues,” speculation began to grow that the festival would not go ahead as planned.

The city council has now 
confirmed that the X Music Festival has been cancelled and revealed its organisers had failed to submit any licensing application in preparation for staging the event – despite selling thousands of tickets in advance.

A council spokeswoman said it understood the festival had been scrapped at some point in the past couple of weeks.

Unilife Events did not respond to the Evening News’s request for comment and failed to confirm whether full refunds had been given to all those who had bought tickets.

Angry customers have branded the event a “shambles” and insisted there had been a lack of communication from the festival’s management from day one.

City resident Daniel Lewis Watt spent £65.89 on two tickets in December, under a special deal launched by promoters to boost sales.

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The frustrated 21-year-old said he received his full refund only on Tuesday after e-mailing the organisers.

He said: “It was a shambles. I heard nothing. I received an 
e-mail from X Music Festival, but it was six days ago. I had to e-mail them first and only found out through other people that it had been cancelled.

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“I have to say it was the worst organised festival I have ever bought tickets for. There was a lack of updates from day one.”

A standard weekend ticket for the festival cost £44.90, while a ticket for the Friday or Saturday was due to set revellers back £29.90.

VIP tickets – boasting access to a bespoke lounge, private bar, private toilets and queue jump entry – were being offered for £59.90.

Willie Black, secretary of West Pilton and West Granton Community Council, said the cancellation of the event had been “disappointing” for the local area.

He said: “We were looking forward to it, and certainly young people in the area were looking forward to the music. It was a good use of the open spaces down on the promenade and would have shown the potential for what can be done in North Edinburgh.

“The local economy would have had a boost from the festival – the shops and off-licences and even the chippy. But about a month ago, or a month and a half ago, it kind of lost its momentum. I thought it was a good idea and brought something new to the area. I’m disappointed to hear that, if it has been cancelled.”

A council spokeswoman said: “The council has not received an application for a public entertainment licence with regards to this event.”