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May 15, 2021

Bluesfest stallholders win case

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A storm over the stalls at Bluesfest. Photo Tree Faerie.

A group of stallholders have won their case against Bluesfest Services Pty Ltd in the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

The case was brought on behalf of Melbourne-based Cajun Kitchen and other stallholders who were not refunded for their fees (over $90,000 altogether) when Bluesfest was cancelled in 2020.

Mark Swivel of Barefoot Law. Photo supplied.

Mark Swivel of Barefoot Law represented the stallholders and told Echonetdaily, ‘Bluesfest were ordered to pay all stallholders a full refund.

‘NCAT said the contract was unfair, the stallholders got nothing for the fee they paid, so Bluesfest had no right to keep their money’, he said.

While Bluesfest offered to keep the fees paid for the next event, this option was not acceptable to the stall-holders.

NCAT found that the ‘force majeure’ contract term which Bluesfest wanted to rely on to keep the fees was found to be unfair.

The arguments of the stallholders succeeded under the Fair Trading Act, Australian Consumer Law and the Frustrated Contracts Act. As a result, NCAT’s Graham Ellis ordered Bluesfest to repay the stallholders fees of $90,250.45.

The festival has 28 days to lodge an appeal.

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