The Brag Media
News March 28, 2024

‘We Are Devastated’: Music Industry Reacts to Splendour 2024 Cancellation

Senior Journalist, B2B
‘We Are Devastated’: Music Industry Reacts to Splendour 2024 Cancellation

The cancellation of Splendour in the Grass 2024 is a red flag for a festivals market staring down a crisis.

That’s the reaction from the music industry, which enters the Easter break on a bum note.

Splendour 2024 was officially cancelled late Wednesday (March 27), less than a week after tickets went on sale, and several hours after The Brag Media broke the story

“We are devastated by the news of Splendour’s cancellation,” comments Mitch Wilson, managing director, Australian Festival Association.

The national music festival industry, adds Wilson, is “currently facing a crisis, and the flow-on effects will be felt across the local communities, suppliers and contractors that sustain our festivals and rely on them to support their livelihoods.”

Costs associated with staging festivals is up 30-40% across the board, affordable insurance is difficult to obtain, margins are squeezed, and, in most cases, festival organisers haven’t raised the price of entry to offset those new costs. 

Splendour is an “iconic” annual event, reads a statement from APRA AMCOS. “A generation of us have watched our favourite bands and artists and discovered the sheer delight of sharing live music with our community. To see it cancelled in 2024 is a shock.”

This year’s Splendour was set for Friday, July 19 to Sunday, July 21 in Ngarindjin / North Byron Parklands, with Kylie Minogue, Future and Arcade Fire booked as headliners.

After a difficult stretch, first with COVID wiping out several editions, then inclement weather spoiling the 2022 show and dampening spirits for last year’s fest, the show is scratched from this year’s calendar.

“We’re heartbroken to be missing a year especially after more than two decades in operation,” reads a statement from Jessica Ducrou and Paul Piticco, co-CEOs of Secret Sounds, and co-founders of SITG. This festival has “always been a huge community effort, and we’d like to thank everyone for their support and overall faith. We hope to be back in the future.”

Any future for Splendour will need help from above — government support.

The Australian Festival Association calls on the Albanese Labor Government to “substantially increase” and continue the Live Music Australia grants for festivals in the upcoming federal budget.

At a state level, minister for music John Graham is waiting in the wings.

“The cancellation of Splendour in the Grass is devastating news,” reads a statement from Graham’s office, issued late Wednesday.

“The festival industry is under extreme pressure, and I am deeply worried about the health of the festival scene here in NSW.”

The NSW Government “offered financial support to help the event proceed this year,” he continues. “We will continue to work with them and hope to see them return next year.”


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