The organisers behind Playground Festival have obviously decided to take an extra long weekend – starting from Wednesday. I struggle to find any other explanation for the fact they’ve basically all disappeared. Since Optimo (Escapio) posted on Tuesday night about their frankly terrible experience at the hands of the festival, the response has been complete radio silence.
To describe their response as a shambles is an understatement. Serious allegations have been made by Optimo and they deserve answering. Merely putting their fingers in their ears and pretending they can’t hear what’s being said isn’t a serious response. But what else can we honestly expect? The more I look into this festival, the more of a shambles it starts to look.
A number of acts were booked to appear, but didn’t. Kelis was one prime example – and from what I can see on social media, her absence was one of the things that bothered a lot of people. Allegations (which this blog cannot confirm the accuracy of at the time of publication) are being made of failing to pay members of staff – infact, one person even published a picture of a court judgement demanding payment was made in a case where Playground Festival didn’t even turn up to defend themselves.
And I even see calls for the local council to strip the festival of its licence entirely. There’s no love to be found for them. Playground Festival’s response to this should be to come out fighting. If things have gone wrong, they should publicly say so and rectify what they can. The public will generally get behind someone who is serious about trying to fix their mistakes – and generally contemptuous of those who don’t.
So who is behind Playground Festival? They are two men called Brian Traynor and Richard Scoular. Between them, they’re involved with several different businesses. Traynor, for example, is the Operations Manager at Playground of Sound Ltd, who run the Playground Festival. Companies House records state he was appointed on February 4th last year, the same day the company was incorporated.
Infact, he’s gone on something of an entrepreneurial frenzy in the past year. In October 2020, he set up another business called BoozeForYou – who specialise in selling alcohol in big, big quantities – and Bottledrop Scotland in January 2021. The nature of this business is described as “involved in the sale of food, beverages and tobacco”.
He also owns a company called MagnificentPizza – which is currently at risk of being struck off due to their accounts now being over two months late. As for Richard Scoular, he’s involved with three different companies. Deoch Limited was set up in November last year and seems to be connected to “public houses and bars” – this seems an odd time to set up a business in the pub trade, but maybe Scoular knows something I don’t.
As for his other two companies – Hazelwood Events and Ridgefern Ltd – they’re both facing being struck off by Companies House. Ridgefern Ltd is actually in liquidation, having not filed any accounts beyond August 2017. Traynor is also involved with this company.
And a quick search of the internet reveals Playground Festival have form for problems. The Scottish Sun published an article in 2019 alleging people at the bar had to wait 90 minutes to get served, and said they ran out of toilet paper and food.
The newspaper did contact Playground Festival to offer a right of reply – just like I did before publication on Wednesday morning. They never responded – just like they haven’t responded to this blog now, or anyone else who’s been in touch.
Your silence damns you…