The Brag Media
News July 18, 2022

Cancelled Music Festivals Cause Million-Dollar Black Holes

Cancelled Music Festivals Cause Million-Dollar Black Holes
Big Pineapple Music Festival on the Sunshine Coast
Image: Supplied

Cancelled music festivals are on the rise, again.

As more music festivals like Vanfest, This That, Sydney Folk Festival and The Grass Is Greener return, local councils and state governments are watching to see the impact on their economies.

Obviously, a major boost is this week’s Splendour in the Grass.

With its cousin Falls Festival, the two pump $100 million into the national economy with more than $25 million for the Byron Shire.

The Gold Coast’s Bleach in August makes $8.5 million, representing nine times council’s investment in 2018, and four times the investment in 2019, drawing 300,000 over 2018-2020.

However, the cancellation of some music events has caused a financial dark hole for some.

Big Pineapple on the Sunshine Coast, while confirming its 2023 return, revealed that its decision not to stage this year cost the Sunshine Coast economy $7 million.

Organiser Mark Pico said 80% of the audience comes from outside the region, “so it’s great for local accommodation providers, cafes and other businesses across the hinterland and coast.”

Kiss’ September 10 show at the 25,000-capacity Queensland Country Bank Stadium in Townsville had to be relocated last week after the unexpected success of the Cowboys NRL side meant they needed their home ground for playoffs on September 10 or September 17.

The U.S. band was offered Reid Park instead but the tour promoters TEG Live and One World turned it down because it would have only fitted in 12,000 fans.

The final Kiss show was moved to the Gold Coast’s 27,400-seat CBus Super Stadium.

Last February premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced her government had “inked a deal” to get the band to Townsville.

The Brisbane and Gold Coast shows were forecast to generate $4.5 million for the state, support 1,000 stadium jobs and deliver flow-on benefits to local industries.

Other axings will also have economic fall-out although specific figures are not available

Organisers of Darwin’s EDM festival Electric Storm permanently cancelled the event after nine years following constant complaints to the venue Darwin Ski Club from neighbours.

The plug was pulled after NT Liquor Commission prohibited loud music after 11.30 p.m.

The club won Hospitality NT’s Best Live Music Venue award for 2022.

In June alt-rock, punk and metal Full Tilt had to cancel its July run in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne two months after announcing its return with international acts.

Promoter Destroy All Lines attributed it to “global supply chain issues (which) have impacted artist’s global touring, including the cost of freight and fuel surcharge quadrupling in most cases and making it extremely challenging for them to be able to afford to tour in many markets around the world including Australia. 

“Unfortunately we could not factor these massive price rises coming in after we announced and went on sale with Full Tilt.”

Last week Bespoke Touring and The Norfolk Hotel in Fremantle announced that basement venue The Aardvark will shut in October.

Meanwhile Green’s Hotel in Burnie, in NW Tasmania, narrowly escaped a permanent closure because of an insurance issue.

Rising protection rates of between 600% to 800% meant that its security company’s insurance provider would not provide public liability cover for two consecutive weeks until a more accommodating company could be found.

ABout 30 staff jobs were saved. In January it closed for some weeks after patron numbers dropped due to growing Omicron variant regions in the region.

The Mercury reported the Royal Agricultural Show Society of Tasmania will appeal a condition in renovation plans for the Hobart Showground.

They include a 1,500-seat venue which would allow it to entice national acts.

But local council has prohibited outdoor live music events over concerns of noise complaints, which society CEO Scott Gadd said would “seriously curtail our ability to put on entertainment for young people and families, as we have traditionally done.”

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