FESTIVAL-GOERS have been left feeling disgruntled and unhappy after being refused refunds for an event which they say desperately failed to deliver.

Clacton Family Festival took place on the Hawk Fruit Farm site in Weeley last month, attracting thousands of people.

Since then the event’s social media pages have been inundated with complaints from parents who were left dissatisfied with their experience.

Instead of reimbursing the upset guests the festival’s organisers have offered complimentary tickets and food vouchers for next year’s event.

Clacton and Frinton Gazette:

The offer, however, does not sit well with everyone, including Zara Songer, 45, of Brightlingsea, who attended with her partner and five-year-old son.

She said: “This is no good for us because we will not be living in the area next year, so I am not happy I can’t get a refund.

“It is disgusting because they have taken my money so they should be able to pay it back – and there is no guarantee next will still go ahead.”

Dave Hudson, 64, of Frinton attended the event with wife Debbie, 63, and their daughter-in-law and three grandsons.

He spent £150 on VIP tickets for his family, but left the site after just two hours, which he says included 45 minutes of queuing for a five-minute slide.

He added: “Words cannot describe how bad the experience was. I welcome the offer of free tickets but have real suspicions about the offer.”

“How do we register for these tickets? I have had no response to emails. It is a complete shambles.”

Clacton and Frinton Gazette:

The family fun day was meant to feature a myriad of performers and attractions such as soft play areas, bouncy castles and inflatable slides.

Many families, however, have said the festival felt disorganised and lacked a sufficient number of rides. Since then the organisers have said sorry and said the event lost 50 staff members the day before meaning some rides could not be opened and have cited Covid as a cause.

They have also said the event’s fun fair operator pulled out 24 hours before the event, as well as six food and drinks operators, due to self-isolating or contracting Covid.

A spokesman for Clacton Family Festival has now said: “We are happy to give a complimentary tickets for those disgruntled few that were unhappy.

“Even next year you are not going to be able to please everyone and there will be some complaints but that is just unfortunately how it is.

“We did not make a penny from these events but we did it because we wanted to bring something to the community that was not otherwise there.

“We are not legally obliged to give refunds and we are not in a position to give refunds. We are just asking for people to give us a bit of time to get it right.”