Top Gear Festival future decided ‘by next week’ amid doubt over contracts of Clarkson co-hosts

Top Gear

Email promoting the Top Gear Festival event

The company behind the Top Gear Festival Sydney has said it will have a decision on the future of the event “no later than next week” after some fans took to social media demanding refunds following the sacking of host Jeremy Clarkson.

Whilst it has been marketed as the first time all three Top Gear hosts, Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond, would be at the money spinning event, news reports overnight have suggested May and Hammond are also ready to quit the show throwing their appearances in doubt.

Some sponsors have told Mumbrella they are in talks with organisers Brand Events Australia over the implications of not having all three hosts there. Mumbrella understands that an announcement could be made as soon as this afternoon.

Images of the trio are still featured on the Festival’s web page. Tickets for the event, due to take place at Sydney’s Eastern Creek race track, range from $49 for a general admission pass to $399 for a ‘Superfan’ pass.

One ticket holder wrote on the event’s Facebook page: “Refunds all round! Top Gear without Clarkson would be like a pub with no beer”.

A statement posted this morning on the page by Brand Events Australia, which runs the event for the BBC, acknowledged the complaints, adding it was “working as quickly as we can and will have further updates no later than next week.”

Yesterday the BBC issued a similar statement saying it was “working through” issues following Clarkson’s departure. A Top Gear Live event in Norway, due to be held today and tomorrow, has been cancelled.

The controversial Top Gear frontman was told by the BBC his contract would not be renewed following his attack on producer Oisin Tymon which left him bleeding and seeking hospital treatment.

The Top Gear Festival website today

The Top Gear Festival website today

The statement acknowledging the concerns about Clarkson’s sacking by Brand Events on Facebook drew a mixed response from many fans who argued the Top Gear trio had been a major draw card.

“No Jeremy no Top Gear,” wrote Donna Marie Rosie in response to the post. “I am taking my father for his 60th and all three don’t show I am not interested.”

“$400 superfan suite tickets bought on the strength of the THREE hosts being there. Mmmmmm, product NOT as advertised, refund please!” wrote David Knapp.

However other motor sport fans have urged organisers to push on with the event.

“Run the event regardless,” wrote Henry Longworth. “My flights, accommodation and super fan suite tickets are already booked I’m still planning on it being a weekend full of Motorsport.”

“(Clarkson) only appeared at the last shows for 5 minutes anyway – it’s almost entirely run by the Aussie commentator. The real stars only paid a fleeting visit,” wrote Michelle Gough.

Sponsors for the event include Destination NSW, Sydney Motorsport Park, Canon, Just Car Insurance, Renault and Toyota, some of whom told Mumbrella today they were in discussions with Brand Events Australia about the event and the implications of not having the hosts there.

A spokesman for Sydney Motor Sport Park said: “We are carrying on as normal. We are not the promoter as such Brand Events are the ones who are looking after it and they have told us we are going ahead as usual and that is what we are doing.

“All we can do is as we’re advised by Brand Events that at this point the show is still going on. We are still planning to carry on as normal. If things change then obviously we will change, but at this stage we are carrying on as if it will go ahead.”

Nic Christensen


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