ROLLER SKATE COMPANY OWNER COMPLAINTS LACK OF COMMUNICATION AT FESTIVAL – Island Echo
After a year of trying to survive COVID, the owner of the island’s roller disco rink spoke about the issues he faced when the festival hit town.
Based in a building in Newport Harbor, “Skates” took a hit when the Isle of Wight Festival hosted the delayed event in September.
Skates was only 4 months old when the pandemic struck and brought everything to a halt, including the postponement of the iconic Seaclose event.
At a difficult time when “every penny counted,” Skates owner Mark Rooney said they were trying to build customer confidence, but a lack of communication from the festival made him fear a return. of the festival. He said:
“The festival is a giant freight train version of who I am, my little business, but we have the same issues.”
Mark said he had tried to contact the festival to sort out the issues, including helping Isle of Wight Council Harbor Captain Jonathan Brand, but had no contact with the festival to turn to .
However, a festival spokesperson said he wanted to work with Mark to ensure better communication next year. They had tighter security this year due to COVID restrictions.
One morning, Mark found nearly 15 containers parked in front of the building. When he went to the festival site office but said he was fired and said someone would come see him but they never did.
Mark said he expected it to be open for most of the festival but was told at the last minute that people would not be able to access the building and therefore had to cancel sessions and prevent staff to enter. Those who did make it through, however, arrived frustrated as security guards held them back and questioned them. If there had been dialogue beforehand, Mark said it could have been avoided.
A spokesperson for the Isle of Wight festival said he spoke to Mark about the classes involved and offered to let patrons enter the area on foot. It was agreed at the time, but a decision was later made to close.
âIt’s a difficult situation. In previous years there had only been small businesses here, that was never going to be a problem. Now it’s a bit more demanding, but if we had had a conversation we could have sorted it out.
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âI have to find a certain amount per month to pay the bills, but it was taken away from me. It made it difficult. Another year, I might have been able to take it, but it was difficult.
âI am aware that this will happen next year, but what should I do? Do I have to write off the business for this period? “
The festival spokesperson said he wanted to work with Skates to clear access and the management team would be in touch to sort out issues for 2022 and beyond.
Security was also criticized by Isle of Wight advisers, with Matt Price saying at a harbor committee meeting that the way they were restricting residents was not acceptable.
Cllr Price said a lot has changed from the way the port has been controlled in previous years and things need to get back to how they were.
The festival spokesperson also said health, safety and security operations were more robust than in previous years due to strict COVID management plans.
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