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Caister August Update

We are currently still refunding balance of payments so far.  Please bear with us for a few weeks while we work through several hundred bookings.  Please see below:

We would like to give you an update on the latest position with regards to what should have been the May Caister Weekenders event themed as “Come Fly with Caister”, that had been postponed from May 2020 until May 2021, as a lot of confusion has arisen from various announcements made by other people and organisations.

Many of you will know that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we sadly announced back at the start of April that the May 2020 event would be unable to be held but that the event would be deferred for a year to May 2021, and all bookings would be honoured for May 2021, or at some other future event. The Holiday Park has now decided not to honour the agreement that they made to our company for the Caister Weekend event to go ahead in May 2021,  This therefore means that our plans to organise for you one of the biggest Soul Music events to be held in 2021, are unable to be fulfilled as originally planned for May 2021.

We are continuing to liaise with our solicitors to see what legal options are available to us, especially as you will be aware that months of time and effort go into planning these events, not to mention a substantial amount of money. Whilst some of the expenditure incurred prior to April 2020, when the event was called off and deferred, could be rolled over to the 2021 event, that is not the case with all of the costs, and as the event is no longer being held at Vauxhall Holiday Park in May 2021, those other costs will also not be able to be recovered.

Even though we are looking at what events we will be able to put on elsewhere in 2021 and beyond, due to the on-going COVID-19 situation and social distancing in 2021 we have no idea with any certainty whether any weekender events at the start of 2021 can take place, so therefore, as previously announced, starting right away we are now arranging to make a refund to everyone of your balance of payment for May 2020 within the next 21 days. Customers that paid by card will receive the refund to their cards and if paid by cheque or cash the party leader will receive a refund by cheque.

As you will be aware, everyone pays by two separate independent payments when booking, firstly a deposit, followed by the larger balance of payment amount. These refunds being sent out now are for the larger balance payments made by party leaders, so we can get as much money back to everyone straight away with this payment. We appreciate people have waited for us to be able to get this refund process up and running.

Once we have further information we will update every one of you with our plans. So please bear with us for a few whilst we process these May refunds to party leaders.

We really value your support for the Caister Weekender events, and are looking at ways of re-establishing this fantastic event and we hope that many of you in the years to come will be able to celebrate future events with us.

Take care, and stay safe

The Caister Management Team

All updates will be posted on the “Coronavirus Update” page on the Caister website at www.caister.org

 

 

 

 

Update 30th June

Important Caister Update

 

We are currently in discussion with our lawyers regarding our long standing event contract with the Holiday Park (26 years) and the continuation of the events. This legal discussion includes negative comments and actions also from certain Caister DJs whilst the company goes through management changes, coupled with the announcement by the Holiday Park and various Caister DJs on Tuesday afternoon regarding a replacement Soul Weekender event at the Holiday Park on the previously agreed Caister dates for 2021.

As a result we are currently exploring all avenues regarding the event including ways to make refunds to those customers wishing to cancel their current booking for May 2020, which the Holiday Park had agreed with us to postpone and roll-over to May 2021, when it became obvious that no large events would have been able to continue this spring or summer.

At this time we would ask everyone to be patient over the next few weeks to allow us time to work through the current situation with our legal team and pursue legal remedies where possible, along with putting proper systems in place to facilitate everyone requiring refunds. We pledge to provide further updates and more positive news regarding the action of refunds as soon as possible.

We appreciate everyone's patience whilst we try to resolve the immense difficulties this virus has caused.

We feel Caister and its long history has been hijacked by sheer opportunism, seizing on an opportunity to profiteer from the long established success of Caister. Hopefully our lawyers will be able to hold some people to account for their negative actions in their efforts to kill Caister and we will be able to do the right thing for loyal Caister customers, which is our intention.

Finally, we can confirm that we have been able to refund all of the September bookings which we promised were ring-fenced at the time of processing those bookings. We had no such opportunity to do this for the May event. We would like to remind everyone that prior to the beginning of April no-one could have expected or prepared for the immense disruption to business brought about by this virus pandemic. And a great deal of expense had already been incurred on the May event by the time the travel ban and lockdown prevented anyone from attending on the original dates hence our plan to roll the event over.

Kind Regards

Caister HQ

 

 

Update 16th June

SEPTEMBER 2020

 

It is with much regret and disappointment that due to the ongoing social distancing problems remaining in place for the foreseeable future due to Covid 19, coupled with our recent management changes, the New Caister management team have no option other than to cancel this September’s Caister soul weekender.

The holiday park is still in shut down and with only about 12 weeks to go there is still no clarity as to what social distancing measures will need to be put in place when holiday parks eventually are allowed to re-open, or for large events to take place. Our main priority also has to be the safety and well being of our customers and staff.

Therefore with a heavy heart we have no option at this time other than to cancel September and make a refund to everyone who has made a direct payment for our September event on or after 1st May 2020.

If you have paid by card we will be making refunds on to the card which you used to make your booking. If you paid by cheque then we will be posting the Party Leader a cheque in due course.

Because of the number of bookings this may take us up to 3 weeks to complete so please bear with us during this difficult time for everyone.

Our first priority is to refund September monies, as promised when we took the bookings should the event not be able to continue.

Please be patient while we work through things, and regarding queries for any other events the new management team will deal with these in due course.

Kind Regards

Paul Owen

Caister HQ

 

 

 

Update Monday 1st June:

We appreciate how disappointed people were when we had to reschedule our May Caister Weekender. Moving everything to May 2021 was all we could do following official government advice and the governments lockdown.

This meant you would not have been able to attend this May through no fault of our own, or yourselves.

Therefore everyone's bookings made for this May have been transferred to May 2021 (unless you have asked to transfer to this September or to another date)

For any group finding it difficult to roll over till next May we will happily work with that group's party leader to ensure we find a suitable alternative Caister event for their group.

The rescheduled May event will now take place on virtually the same dates, 30th April, 1st 2nd, 3rd May 2021, and this time it will be a bank holiday weekend! Your booking reference will stay exactly the same, your tickets, passes etc which have already been produced for this year and will remain the same and the theme will be the same. Tickets will be posted next March. You will not need to complete any further paperwork as we already have your photos and completed confirmations for this May, we are simply rescheduling everything to next May, from this May. However if anyone in your group changes their address in the meantime please e-mail with the persons name and your booking reference and the new address.

We can still take a few more new bookings for May 2021, simply go to our website at www.caister.org and click on the “Bookings & Info” menu.


Corona Virus Update for September event - Monday 4th May 2020

 

Following on from the latest government announcements and the upcoming reductions to the current lockdown restrictions over the coming weeks, it is now our intention to proceed with planning and fully implementing the preparations for the upcoming September Caister event as the current social distancing measures along with all the other restrictions that have been in place are finally bearing positive fruit as we look forward towards the summer.

As the September event falls at the very end of September we are hopeful that life will have returned towards a more normal state by then, however we are very mindful to the fact that nothing is certain yet. As a result we want to fully assure all our customers that if we are not able to go ahead with the September event due to government rules come the time, we will be refunding customers who have specifically paid any money from 4th May 2020 for the September event, So to be totally clear money collected directly for bookings for the upcoming September event will be fully reimbursed to customers if the government actions prevent this event from taking place.

It is still important for everyone to stay safe, and we are still working with a skeleton office service, so as previously, we urge everyone to please contact us by email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and we will endeavour to reply within 48-72 hours. Please include a clear subject header on all messages to help us answer your queries sooner.

Stay safe and well & we hope to see you all in September


Caister HQ

 

 

May 1st Update

Why are we not offering refunds for May 2020 but rolling over?

We know that you will be feeling extra sad today on what should have been the first day of our May event.  Trust us, we are as sad as you to not be welcoming you to Vauxhall Holiday Park, handing you your passes and helping you to have the best weekend ever.  However we are all in the same situation and, as sad as it is our number one priority is to keep ourselves and those we care for safe.    The truth is none of us at Caister HQ, or anywhere else, have ever been faced with a situation like this and like you were uncertain back in March when we first started to respond that our plan was roll this event over until next year.  As soon as we got consent to roll-over from the holiday park until next year  we notified you, giving everyone a months notice – for that we are sorry we did not have more time.

We understand that some of you have frustration and we want to do everything we can to make things better.  However, offering refunds was just not an option for us. If we took this route then there would be no more Caister, meaning that the multitude of people who are fine with rolling the event over would have lost out too. We thought that the best option was to offer complete roll over to 2021 which was what the government advised.  We have also extended this option and given you an alternative of 5 years to find a date that works for you. And if that is still unsuitable, the option to be able to transfer your place to another person with no admin fee. We know this roll over is disappointing,  but hopefully, the majority of you will be able to make a future event and we can continue making Caister Soul Weekender the fun experience you have always enjoyed. For those that have expressed disappointment  please bear with us during these unprecedented times– nobody likes losing customers, and more so we hate the thought of you missing out on the fun times with friends over a decision that we had no choice but to make.

The Free Place Voucher offer has the added benefit of giving those who choose this option the potential saving of up to an additional 20% discount. This is because the price of Caister will almost certainly have to be increased in line with inflation, additional costs etc over the next 5 years. However regardless of future price increases, the Free Place Voucher will remain valid for the full event price regardless of any future price increases.

Stay safe, stay well and stay soulful

 

 

April 30th Update

 

We know many of you are disappointed that we can't be at the Caister Soul Weekend this weekend due to Covid 19.
However our fantastic DJ team decided to bring Caister to you into your home while you self isolate or while you work as essential key workers.   The DJs are giving their time free of charge and hope you will join us in raising money.

Caister Soul Weekenders are proud to announce that the chosen charity for our May 2020 event will be the James Paget University Hospital Great Yarmouth, Staff COVID Fund.  This is the hospital and staff that cover our Caister events. To help the amazing staff who are in the front line against COVID we have set up a fund-raising page for your donations which will go 100% directly to the staff fund.
You can donate via https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/caistersoulfamily

Over the weekend 1st to 4th May from 10am Friday 1st May to 10pm Monday 4th May, you will be able to join in on the virtual world famous Caister Soul Weekender via
www.caister-radio.online featuring all your favourite Caister DJs including their signature sets. So wear a T-shirt, wear a pass, sing along. Post your pictures wearing passes on our Facebook group page “Caister Soul Weekenders Official”  Be there without being there as we bring the family back.


 

COVID-19 Update.  This page will be updated when necessary by ourselves and in line with Government announcements.


Coronavirus Easter Update

Thank you to all our loyal Caister family for your continued support, we hope you are managing to safely enjoy the Easter sunshine and are keeping well at this difficult time for everyone.

As previously explained, with so many businesses going bust, rolling over this May’s Caister event until next year’s May Bank Holiday weekend was our only viable option. This has also been in keeping with so many other entertainment events facing the same challenges as ourselves.

However for any group finding it difficult to roll over the group till next May we will happily work with that group's party leader to ensure we find a suitable alternative Caister event for their group, either for one of the other events later in 2021 or later this year.

We are endeavouring to reply to any emails within 24-48 hours. Please include your booking reference and a specific subject title to help us deal with your enquiry as speedily as possible.

Please all stay safe and well and have a great Easter.

Caister HQ

 

Important message from Caister HQ.... 4th April

 

Having finally been in a position on Friday afternoon to announce the decision to postpone the May Caister event until May 2021 we feel it important to give all our customers a full and transparent picture of exactly why we chose the postponement option and the reasoning behind it.

Firstly we would like to point out that just 5 weeks ago on the 28th February the 1st case of the virus was discovered as transmitted directly person to person here in the UK (just 9 weeks till the Caister event)! No one here in the UK or worldwide had a plan of action ready for what was to come. Just 6 weeks ago no one had any concerns in the UK about Coronavirus, life was normal. Then in under a week suddenly all pubs were closed then 2 days later high street shops, then social distancing rules all within 3 days. All of this happened around us with no action blueprint or definite timeline for us to follow, just government statements saying we will bring in greater or lesser measures as time goes by. This left us completely headless with no clear direction, or help, just contracts to fulfil, a clock ticking and people expecting to be at an event we had spent nearly a year working on.

 

It's really important to understand we have been bound by agreements with the venue and contracts with our other various suppliers, contractors and performers plus some advance payments and depositsto printers and suppliers etc have already been paid out.  In addition to that our office team have been working processing the May 2020 bookings from the day the May booking page went live, back at the start of March 2019 and we have been incurring numerous costs since then. These costs include Card & Cheque Processing Fees, Bank Charges, staff costs, three individual quarters of VAT payments, Corporation Tax, Marketing, Accountancy fees, Printing, Postage, Utility Bills, Promotional & Advertising costs, and contractual payments etc, etc.  Incidentally like many other businesses we were informed when we contacted our Insurers that Pandemics were not covered, so we could not fall back on any cover to help us.

By the time lock-down was introduced the event was virtually complete work wise, (even everyone's tickets and passes had been printed, processed and laminated) but although we felt it was unlikely to go ahead as the virus escalated, we still had to get approval to move the dates. We only got confirmation last Friday lunchtime from the Holiday Park and we announced the move to May 2021 immediately to try and give everyone as much notice as possible.

Due to the fact the event was all ready to go, and significant sums of money had already been paid out towards the event, the reality is refunds were not a possible option as we would have had no choice than go bust and Caister would have been forced into liquidation. This is the likely scenario for many small businesses in the UK over the next few months. This was not something we wanted to happen, as it was really important to us to try and give best value to all our customers. The two best options were roll the event over to next May so everyone's original booking was intact, or another option we had discussions about, were to move May to a new date potentially at the end of June, but we decided that was too risky as social distancing may still be in force, so postponement was the only viable option in trying to do the right thing for everyone.

Anyone who has ever attended a Caister Weekender will know how much work goes into putting on the event from the staff, the DJs & Security to the on-site facilities, local hotels & taxi services etc, so we really hope you can understand the Caister events are not a 150 people gig in a pub on a Saturday night, there is a huge amount of work that goes into keeping everyone safe and running an efficient multi day event with so many people in attendance

We may have not handled social media as efficiently as we could. But with staff on government lockdown we did not have the information to answer questions on social media, especially when people were repeatedly asking the same questions, while we were contractually not in a position to answer them. So we sincerely apologise to anyone who felt unfairly treated but it has been a very difficult time trying to find the best way forward.

As soon as information became available it was immediately put on this Website.

Finally with regard to rolling the event over to next May, we are trying to be as flexible as we possibly can. We will work with your group leader to find a future event that will be suitable for your group if rolling over your group to May 2021 is not suitable for your group. We will also make it possible for people to be removed out of a group if a person cannot attend but the rest of the group want to go ahead with the new date, then the group can add a new person as a replacement for the removed person free of charge.

We hope now you have the full story that you can understand our predicament and the reason why refunds were not possible, and we hope by sharing the facts with you that you choose to work with us to find the best dates and a positive solution for everyone so we can come together once this dreadful virus is behind us all. We are sorry again for the situation, but all of this has been totally outside of our control. Stay safe and at home and please understand we will do our best to answer all queries as quickly as we can, but with a very limited HQ team for at least the next 3 or 4 weeks it may take a bit of time to respond but we will reply to all emails as quickly as we can, but please have your booking reference handy and quote it when communicating with us to speed up dealing with your enquiry.

Kind regards

Caister HQ

 

Previous updates:


Since the start of the Corona crisis we have constantly been monitoring the situation, plus following the current Government health guidance. Having carefully considered all of the various options regarding this May`s event and discussed this with the holiday park, although they will remain open they have been extremely supportive of our decision, as have our staff and Caister family. We are now finally in a position to fully confirm what is happening, and the way forward regarding the upcoming May event. We have now decided to roll-over this year’s May event until May 2021.

We know that this postponement will disappoint many of you that were hoping that the May event this year could go ahead, but our primary concern has always been the health and safety of our customers, our staff, equipment suppliers, etc.

We have spoken to the artists that we had booked for this May and some, such as Light Of The World, will now be appearing on our September event which hopefully is going ahead as planned. The remaining acts plus additional ones will be rolled over to next May.

Everyone that has sent back their Confirmation Forms for this May will now be automatically credited for next May so that no-one will lose out.

We know that this is an incredibly unsettling time for everyone but we are sure you all agree that rolling over the May event until next May is by far the best and simplest option. Everything for next May will be the same as this May and the theme, Come Fly with Caister will also roll over until next May so that those of you that have already bought or made your costumes will still be able to use them next May.

As an added bonus and thank you for bearing with us we have spoken to all of the Caister DJ team and over the dates which were planned for this year’s event (1st 2nd 3rd 4th May) our DJ team will be presenting live broadcasts on the Internet 24/7 on Caister Radio via Soul Connexion Radio, which will feature all of our famous signature sets as well as phone-in shows etc over what would of been our May event. Full information about this Caister Radio special weekend of radio programming will be announced in the next week or so.

In the meantime our sincere thanks go out to all of our loyal customers, many of whom are in the Emergency Services, who have waited patiently while we sort things out during this lockdown. We hope all of you are all well and remain safe, we look forward to seeing you in September, at New Year, and next year.

 

The Caister Team


Further Updates:.... all group bookings for this May will now be automatically transferred to May 2021, which takes place on virtually the same dates, 30th April, 1st 2nd, 3rd May 2021, and this time it will be a bank holiday weekend! Your booking reference will stay exactly the same, your tickets, passes etc which have already been produced for this year and will remain the same as will the theme. Tickets will be posted next March. You will not need to complete any further paperwork as we already have your photos and completed confirmations for this May, we are simply transferring everything to next May from this May. However if anyone in your group changes their address in the meantime please e-mail with the persons name and your booking reference and the new address.

 

We know this is a difficult and unsettling time for everyone as the UK responds to the coronavirus outbreak.

We sincerely hope the September and New Year Caister events are going ahead as planned  and you can still book for these events online on this website.

Under instructions from the Government our staff have now commenced the Governments social distancing and are staying in their homes and working from home for the next couple of weeks. This is a legal requirement. Accordingly at the moment there will only be one person in our offices, coming in part time to check our remote systems are functioning.

If you need to contact us please do this by e-mail to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

In the meantime please bear with us while we are short staffed and are unable to respond directly as everyone is following government rules. We know this is an unsettling time for everyone as the UK responds to the coronavirus outbreak, so it’s more important than ever that we look out for each other. Do keep yourself safe during this time.

 


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