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News July 31, 2022

Splendour Confirms ‘Goodwill Payment’ for Acts Affected by First Day Festival Cancellation

Executive Editor, B2B & Print
Splendour Confirms ‘Goodwill Payment’ for Acts Affected by First Day Festival Cancellation
Splendour Fashion in the Mud
Image: Photo by Georgia Griffiths

Splendour in the Grass organiser Secret Sounds has told agents, managers and promoters that it will provide a “goodwill payment” to acts affected by its day one cancellation.

Among the affected acts were DMAs, Ruel, Baker Boy, Kacey Musgraves and Gorillaz.

Secret Sounds was forced to cancel the first day of entertainment on July 22 due to a significant weather system moving through the Byron Bay region that left punters and artists stranded.

It was the first time Splendour had been forced to cancel in its 22-year history.

The festival’s standard contract states that any cancellation “due to a force majeure event” would result in no fee being payable, and each party would therefore cover their own costs.

That would prove too much for some of the acts booked to perform, who had already incurred significant costs from rehearsals, session players, crew, travel and accommodation.

Artists are expected to have their own insurance policies, but it comes at a cost. Premiums have ballooned courtesy of bushfires, floods, the pandemic and the war in Eastern Europe.

Splendour

The decision by Secret Sounds to offer a payment follows pushback over the past week by reps for some of the acts booked to play on the festival’s opening day lineup.

TMN spoke with multiple agents and managers last week, who vented their frustration that despite receiving $1 million in RISE funding – and that more than 50,000 ticketholders remained at the venue buying food and drink – some artists could be left penniless.

But it’s not all bad news.

In an email sent to agents, managers and promoters on Saturday, obtained by TMN, Secret Sounds’ co-CEO Paul Piticco said it has always honoured its artist obligations.

“We often go beyond those obligations to support our artists and their teams,” he wrote. “In this case, we have been working on a goodwill support package to do just that…”

The package means that any acts booked with a fee of $15,000 or less will receive 100%, and all other acts will receive 50% of their agreed fee capped at $50,000.

Piticco expects no agent, manager or promoter commissions, ensuring the “biggest impact for artists that have the least resource and are most affected by the cancellation.”

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