Posted by: maisiegrace | July 27, 2008

Quex grand fiasco

I have been to a few music festivals in my time, and I can safely say that yesterday’s UB40 gig at Quex Park goes down as THE most badly organised one I have ever seen. In fact, after waiting for TWO AND A HALF HOURS, and still not getting to the bar, I gave up and went home in disgust and never even saw a band.

We arrived thirsty, and my friend’s bottle of mineral water was confiscated at the entrance. Not a good start but I suppose it could have been vodka, and it might have done the organisers out of a few quid spent on site. We grumbled but understood. Inside the gates it became clear that there was a ‘system’ for getting drinks. This invoved joining a long queue to buy drinks tokens from one small kiosk. We duly waited in the queue, missed the first support band, and finally got our chance to spend £21 each on tokens, after waiting for AN HOUR. Only then did we realise the sheer size of the real drinks queue! It wrapped itself round the whole field! Having already parted with our hard-earned cash though, what did we do? We joined the queue. AN HOUR AND A HALF later, parched and pissed off, we had missed two more bands.

It would probably have taken another 20 minutes to get a drink but total resentment had set in and we gave up. We weren’t the only ones. Lots of people were trying to sell/give away their tokens because they wanted to go and see the bands or just leave. We gave ours away, probably never to be spent. Apparently there had been 2-hour queues to leave at the end of the event the day before, so we took our chance to escape the fiasco and left without seeing UB40.

I resent this on lots of levels. I spent £32.50 on a ticket to see 4 bands and saw none. The organisers got another £21 from me for tokens I didn’t spend. I wasted several hours of my life, and it raised my blood pressure on my weekend when I should have been chilling out. And I’m still angry this morning.

Clearly the organisers had little experience of organising events like this. Why didn’t they get some advice? Maybe UB40 were great in the end, but if anyone had a good time at the event, it would be nothing to do with the organisation. A lot of people’s memory of one of the biggest music events for Thanet in a while will be fundamentally a frustrating one. Thanet doesn’t need this. Who is going to be rushing back in the future to be ripped off and have their time wasted?

Apparently it was organised by Archie or Alfie somebody. If anyone can put me in touch with him I would be very grateful. I WANT MY MONEY BACK!



  1. Hi, My daughter went to this do, said it was the best she had attended. Ps, if you want to smuggle drinks in use colostomy bags, They won’t even look.

  2. Apparently you were not, by a long chalk, the only one to have had an extremely frustrating experience at this gig courtesy of the ludicrous drinks arrangement. The organisers must have made a fortune from people who bought tokens but never ended up with so much as a mineral water.

    But then the words ‘Thanet’ and ‘well-organised’ hardly go together, whereas ‘Thanet’ and ‘rip-off’ have a bit of a ring, eh? Oh, er, sorry, I forgot. I mustn’t be negative!

  3. My friends attended the concert, they managed to last out to see UB40 but were disgusted at the bad organization. When they left it was impossible to get a cab, no public transport was laid on, they had to walk back to Ramsgate. They will not be going back to Quex for any other event – what a shame.

  4. the thanet factor.

    inward investors take note

    employ poles

  5. We went there Fiday night and the ques were bad then. We got our tokens at the box office tent outside which meant no major queing. Even the food stalls were bad, and only 6 concessions to feed the thousands. I certainly wont go back. The guy in question I believe is called Albi Parks.

  6. My first action would be to write a short letter tot eh owners of the venue and state that your experience was so bad that you will boycott the place for the rest of your life. Politely ask for a refund.

    They will refuse but I’d give you good money that they will be full of apologies and the address of the organiser. From there it would be a hop, skip and jump to demanding your money back.

    Don’t hold your breath though.

    If it is revenge you want I would suggest a letter to the office(s) of the Government’s ministers in charge of Health and Safety etc – suggest that the lack of access to water was a health risk putting lives in danger. CC this to the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister for added punch.

  7. Make sure that you (& everyone else) DO complain, & write to the local press too! Absolutely disgusting. They should at least have sold water as they checked the tickets.

  8. i went to the festival too and thought it was awfully is against human rights to take water away on the hottest day of the year.i would like to complain but cant find anyones details to write to.

  9. How about contacting UB40? They have a rep as caring about audiences. They also may have some influence.

    UB40 / Reflex Muzic
    PO Box 117,
    B5 5RG,

  10. Good idea to contact UB40. Will do. Does anyone have any contact information for Albi Parks?

  11. Hi
    Can’t find any contact details on Albi but just phoned Quex Park for details and they say the organiser to complain to over the drinks issue etc is a Karen Botha.
    Karen Botha Quex House, Quex Park, Park Lane. Birchington CT7 0HB Tel01843 842 168
    You could try 0115 959 7908

    Good luck

  12. I hear that UB40 will always try to contact anyone who’s unhappy at one of their performances as long as you let them know that you were unhappy, I’d just complain a lot!

    I went there, nearly 8 months pregnant and ended up sitting on the grass, waiting for nearly 2 hours for my boyfriend to get me some water as the organisers at the front went through my bag and took away my orange squash, I also missed the bands as I couldnt stay standing for long while dehydrated, it also ruined the day for my friends who felt that they couldnt leave me to go watch the bands while my boyfriend was M.I.A looking for a bottle of water. When we were leaving we decided to see if we could get my bottle of orange back, the people at the gate, although pleasant to deal with, refused to give me my drink back and then told me the only way that I could get anything back was to “prove” that I was pregnant. I am nearly 8 months pregnant, it is fairly obvious to all who pay attention that I am carrying a child. When I said “Well look at me” they laughed and said that I could just be fat and trying to take them for a ride. I wasn’t trying to take them for a ride, I just wanted my drink back! Needless to say that tiredness, heat and hormones all hit me at once and I ended up in tears when we finally got back to the car, not wanting to give the staff the satisfaction of seeing me cry, I waited til I was in the car and we were round the corner. Badly organised is one way of putting it, epic failure is another. I’m complaining, so should everyone else who had a bad time.

  13. Apparently the organiser can be contacted at

  14. I went to the Friday night show – Hoosiers etc – and I have to say that we didn’t experience the problems you guys had on Saturday; which is actually more disturbing as Friday should have been a good dry run for the Saturday night.
    Apart from a swift walk from Acol, due to solid traffic, it was fine. Didn’t take any liquids with me, as the ticket stated not to bring them. Que’s for soft drinks – about 10 minuets max. Que’s for booze – about 20 minuets.
    Enjoyed the show immensely, jumped on a train home to Ramsgate at the end, and was back in doors in under an hour from leaving Quex.
    Not much in the way of amenities there – but overall a great enjoyable evening.

  15. Hi
    I mispelt his name earlier but new I’d seen saw it in the local rag a couple of weeks ago. A clear out last night produced the paper.
    Albie Park of Coz We Can.

    Googlelin produced the following:
    3 Belmont Road, BROADSTAIRS. CT10 1LA
    CT12 6SR

    Coz We Can Limited:

  16. Coz we can rip you off I think!

  17. Bloody hell, just read my message Aug 1st 10:15. Some typing and spelling errors in there. Not normally that thick.

  18. Final note on this one – UB40 never replied. Coz we can sent two ridiculously long letters full of self-congratulatory nonsense and c**p reasons why they weren’t going to give me my money back. £100 down the toilet but I just can’t be bothered dealing with such idiots.

  19. Unadulterated words, some unadulterated words dude. You made my day!!

  20. Hi Mark and all. I am not connected to the events at Quex at all but Know Karen Botha very well. The beer fiasco was certainly a problem at UB40 but please be aware that the quex people and Karen are responsible for the venue hire, not for what goes on in the event. Karen Is the booking agent only, not the event organiser so there is no re-course through her. Hopefully the event organiser has learned from the royal cock up and will address it at the next event!

  21. Hi,
    I was at the UB40 concert concerned and am also a friend/business aquaintance of Karen Botha. I was truely disgusted at the token system at the concert, however this was a mistake by the event organisers not the Quex Estate or Karen. Quex provide the land for the events however the events are the complete responsibility of Sound Island Festivals.
    I respectfully request that admin or individual posters of this blog should remove any referance to both the Quex Estate and Karen. The information is incorrect and should not be continued to be displayed, I do have on good authority that both Quex and Karen are willing to seek legal assistance have the comments removed. I am sure, you would agree as I would if the information was correct then postings such as this would be acceptable, however, this is false information and should be taken down as could be deemed to be defamatory.
    I understand that the organisers have not used the token system since and regret they ever did.

  22. This, like all blogs where people can post comments, is a forum for people to say what they believe, whether it’s right or wrong. Fortunately you have put the record straight so Karen and Quex have nothing to worry about, and I’m sure their solicitor would agree.

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