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Email gaffe sees every Liverpool festival applicant told they were successful


Email gaffe sees every Liverpool festival applicant told they were successful

Several unsigned and independent-label bands and artists had their hopes built up and dashed within the space of an hour, after they received an email wrongly telling them they had been selected to play at this year’s Liverpool Sound City festival.

Sound City invited musicians to use an ‘Apply to Play’ service on its website, handled by the platform Amplead. Lucky artists would get the opportunity to perform at this year’s event, which will take place on the last weekend of April across multiple Liverpool venues.

On Wednesday night, several applicants received an email informing them that they had been successful, but this was followed up by a second email – seemingly received 30 to 45 minutes later in most cases – telling them there had been a “small malfunction” and they would not be playing at Sound City after all.

Not surprisingly, this led to some deeply disappointed and disgruntled artists taking to Twitter:

The last time I remember writing about a mishap at a Liverpool music event was in 2017 when the two-day Hope & Glory Festival ended up abandoned after the first day. On that occasion, what was arguably worse than the second day being cancelled was the organisers’ behaviour on social media, with their constant arguing, finger-pointing and blame-shifting only serving to make a bad situation worse.

On this occasion, at least those behind the mix-up have responded in the right way. Amplead has taken full responsibility for the error, stressing that the Sound City team was not to blame for the emails and replying to messages from unhappy artists on Twitter and Facebook.

Amplead has also said it is working on offering something to all applicants affected.

Sound City, though not directly to blame for the mistake, has also apologised and says it will be working with Amplead to understand what went wrong.

The response has been professional, but replies suggest some of the would-be performers are struggling to shrug off an error of this magnitude. When email communication goes this spectacularly wrong, it can be hard to win back trust, so make sure your campaigns are in professional hands. At Engage Web, we run email marketing campaigns for several of our clients, so speak to us if you’d like yours to make an impact for the right reasons.

John Murray

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