Whilst Playground Festival’s silence towards… well, everyone continues – this blog takes a closer look at organisers Brian Traynor and Richard Scoular

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… 

Amidst a barrage of criticism circulating online towards Playground Festival, the organisers have chosen to say nothing – but is it because they saw this coming?

Yesterday morning, this blog reported on comments made by Optimo (Escapio) about what they perceived to be the shambles of Glasgow’s Playground Festival.  And I wasn’t the only one. A number of Scottish media outlets covered the story, including The Scottish Sun and STV News – although curiously, none of the dance music outlets have covered this one…

I was under the impression that Playground Festival were just ignoring me as they still haven’t answered my email. I was wrong – they’re ignoring everybody. Not just the press, not just mischievous bloggers like myself, but their own irate customers. Social media is currently filled with all kinds of complaints about the festival, including the fact a number of big acts cancelled their appearances with very little advance notice.

Then again, perhaps Brian Traynor – the promoter behind Playground Festival – was already expecting criticism. On Tuesday, before all this kicked off, he wrote on Instagram that “It’s so easy to jump on social media and criticise when things don’t go to plan, to overlook the efforts from staff that have been working long shifts in difficult conditions or not to truly understand the skilled technical abilities of production teams that consistently deliver to high standards with no room for error, but people’s kind words today have made it all worthwhile.”.

The words aren’t quite so kind now, are they Brian? Come out and defend yourself…

“The worst individuals we’ve ever had to deal with” – Optimo (Espacio) castigate the people in charge of Glasgow’s Playground Festival, and claim “they treat local artists like s***”…

The problem with being a petulant arse who thinks they can behave in whatever way they please is that you’ll eventually try it on the wrong person. You can be lucky for many years, because many people don’t speak out about various kinds of crap behaviour.

But at some point, you’re going to land flat on your face courtesy of someone who gives you what you deserve. And by the looks of it, that’s what’s happened to the Playground Festival in Glasgow yesterday. The duo Optimo have witnessed how they’ve behaved, decided they don’t like it and called them out on it on social media.

Damning allegations are made here, including that one artist was given a mouthful of abuse by the festival’s promoters – and all for simply having the sheer temerity to ask for the money they’d previously agreed to pay her. I’ve written before about the shady behaviour of the shadowy figures in this scene, and this is a prime example of it.

Optimo even resorted to stopping the set for 15 minutes on the night as a protest to ensure they got paid – and by the looks of it, almost all the feedback they’re getting online is entirely supportive of their stance.

Playground Festival have been approached for comment, but have not responded at the time of publication.