The team behind Scotland’s 15,000-capacity Doune The Rabbit Hole festival have blamed Broadcasting, Entertainment, Communications and Theatre Union (BECTU) for the cancelation of the 21-23 July event and have threatened it with legal action.

The company behind the festival, Doune The Rabbit Hole Festival Ltd, went into administration in December before being relaunched under the new name of Festival Beverage and Property Services Ltd. At the time, the festival’s organisers pledged to pay artists, crew and suppliers from the 2022 event after being accused of failing to pay artists.

BECTU said the festival had amassed more than £1 million pounds in unpaid bills to both bands and staff (£800,000 in 2022 alone): “Many people including the headline bands last year were paid nothing other than their deposits, in some cases bands are owed tens of thousands of pounds with no hope of getting their final payments.”

Announcing the cancellation of the festival, run annually by Jamie Murray and his father Craig Murray, its organisers issued a lengthy statement that began, “We are beyond devastated to announce the cancellation of Doune The Rabbit Hole 2023 and the end of the festival for the foreseeable future as a result of the call for a boycott of the event by BECTU.”

The event’s organisers said they will seek to take legal action against BECTU, which they suggested had prevented Doune the Rabbit Hole 2023 from going ahead “through the orchestrated spread of misinformation designed to induce a boycott”.

BECTU said it had previously agreed with the event’s organisers that they would offer 100% deposits up front to those considering working at the festival, but Craig Murray had admitted that had not happened.

“Once again those who had agreed to perform and work at this year’s festival will be left out of pocket by the failure of those organising the event,” said BECTU.