A police investigation has been launched into allegations of non-payments following a major music event in Pembrokeshire.

Many artistes who appeared at last month’s Tenby Folk Festival – headlined by Cerys Matthews – say they are still waiting for their cheques to be honoured by Arthur Turner-Thomas, of Wicked Wang Promotions.

Over £30,000 is owed to performers, claimed one musician.

But despite this, Mr Turner-Thomas is already advertising next year’s Tenby Folk Festival, with ‘early bird’ tickets up for sale on the internet.

Welsh musicians The KilBride Brothers say they have twice had the £600 cheque for their performance returned by the bank.

Said the band’s Gerard KilBride: “The festival was really well attended with an excellent audience – the only flaw being that the organiser has not yet paid people. Thankfully, incidents like this are very few and far between.”

Local music broadcaster and promoter B. B. Skone, who manages The Crook Family, added: “We are still owed money and he is refusing to answer any of my calls or e-mails.

“That is the position that many other artistes and businesses are finding themselves in.”

The Western Telegraph contacted Mr Turner-Thomas, who lives in Newcastle Emlyn, to ask him about the issues raised.

He said in an e-mailed statement: “Considering this was the first Tenby Folk Festival, and the first ever event organised solely by my company Wicked Wang Promotions, the size of audience, and the calibre of artist booked ensured the festival was a resounding success.

“Issues occurred during the festival, which has resulted in the management team, Wise Music, contracted to enact the festival, being removed from any further involvement in future events.”

Mr Turner-Thomas added: “This decision bears no ill wind to the stage managers, runners and volunteers who worked their socks off.”

Mr Turner-Thomas added: “Due to the horrendous noise generated by ignorant persons at the bar areas and the VIP party plus other issues the De Valence Pavilion will not be used as a venue in future.”

Although Mr Turner-Thomas’ response did not address the payments to artistes issue, a statement on the festival Myspace website says: “Many are aware of the issues regarding payments to artistes, which we are sorting out as quickly as we can.

“This may take a little time, but we are legally acting to resolve the issues. Patience please.”

Responding to Mr Turner-Thomas’ comments, a spokesman for Wise Music said it is among those that have reported Mr Turner-Thomas to police and has no wish to have further involvement with him.

De Valence trustee Chris Osborne added: “Mr Turner-Thomas seems to be blaming everyone but himself.

“Both the De Valence team and the management team he brought in had to work three times as hard as they should have because of his inexperience and disorganisation.

“We would be very wary of working with him again.”

The 2009 festival is being advertised as being held in Tenby Leisure Centre and has been booked for next August.

But a spokesman for Pembrokeshire County Council added: “Unless the promoter resolves his outstanding financial commitments, we will not be honouring this booking.”

A police spokesman confirmed an investigation into the festival is underway following complaints received, including an allegation of non-payment of fees.