So, we are six months into 2023, and the festival season has begun. What a year 2023 is shaping up to be! Here at Oculate UK, things haven't been as smooth as we would have liked for this year, and we can now finally talk about everything that's been going on behind the scenes.
Back in September 2022, after our favourite summer yet, packed full of festivals, shows, and growth for the company, we were approached by a company to revamp our website and incorporate all the new content we had planned. They saw a post we had put out on our LinkedIn and we were ecstatic about this opportunity. We had plans to launch a store to sell merchandise, tickets for events, and a place to sell our printed editions, finally allowing us to venture into print.
After a month or so of back-and-forth discussions about designs, what to include, pricing, and the deadline date, we agreed to everything, signed the contract, and sent over all the necessary funds for Oculate to make this dream a reality. Little did we know, this would turn out to be a huge mistake...
The original deadline was set for November 1st, 2022. We were preparing everything on our end, ready for a brand new website to kick off 2023, aiming to make it our biggest year to date. However, after constant chasing, we were informed of a delay, pushing the completion date to December 1st. We were initially okay with this, as long as we had the website ready for the start of the new year. Unfortunately, December 1st came and went with no website. December 20th arrived, and still no website. And even on December 31st, the website was nowhere to be found. This caused many sleepless nights and immense stress for all of us. We were constantly assured that everything was ready, blaming it on a domain issue when in reality, the problems ran much deeper. Finally, on January 10th, we regained access to the site, only to be greeted by a WIX template site with no progress and no access to anything via the dashboard.
Although we felt defeated, we refused to give up. We worked with what we had and did our best to push the company to address the issues. Over a four-month period, we saw slight improvements to the site, but they were accompanied by numerous challenges. During this time, we experienced periods of being locked out of the site for days on end. We would make changes ourselves, only to find them reversed, posts deleted or unscheduled, and many other frustrating occurrences.
Towards the end of May, after threatening legal action, we finally gained full access to the site and became the rightful owners. We were relieved beyond words. As we delved deeper into the site settings, we discovered issue after issue. We believe that most of the underlying problems are now resolved, and we can finally shape the website according to our original intentions.
So, where do we stand now?
Firstly, we would like to apologize for the website not being the smoothest or most professional-looking. We acknowledge that it can be difficult to navigate. Addressing and fixing these issues are among our top priorities. With the funds returned from the previous company, we are currently searching for a new website developer and manager. Our intention is to find someone from within the community we have built. Stay tuned to our Instagram, as we plan on posting a call-out very soon.
Regarding our shows, can you believe it's been nearly a year since our first event? We are eager to organize another showcase-style event. We are currently in discussions with venues in Nottingham, Bristol, and London, aiming to secure bookings as soon as possible.
As for our print editions, if everything goes well during the festival season, we plan to release our first print edition in October or November. This edition will reflect on the highlights of festival season '23, capturing the Autumn/Winter spirit. More information will be shared soon. Additionally, we are planning a limited run of merchandise to accompany the print release.
We want to express our heartfelt gratitude for all the support you have shown us over the past six months and for sticking with us during this challenging period. We promise to bring the platform back to its former glory.
Co-founder and Editor In Chief of Oculate UK