One Great Disappointment As Aussie Music Festival Cancelled
With Soundwave 2013 completely sold out, Harvest edging ever closer to exhausting its ticket allocation, and Big Day Out promoter Ken West saying that he’s also close to a sell out, many music lovers’ minds are turning to the 2013′s festivals and where to place their hard-earned for a unique festival experience.
The indie delights of alt-j and Bat For Lashes at Laneway? Digging some Stone Roses or going ‘Gangnam Style’ for Future Music Festival? Then there’s Golden Plains to contend with, as well as big sister event, December’s Meredith Music Festival.
But there’s one music festival that nearly everyone has forgotten about that was also set to take place in December, and promised big things but unfortunately now looks like it has quietly fallen over.
Following on from our August opinion piece; One Great Night On Earth had ambitious beginnings, promising a killer lineup of classic rock acts large enough to draw 100,000 ticket sales from concert-goers for what would have been the festival’s inaugural appearance, with “100% of the proceeds being distribute to those in regional Australia who are most in need.”
Designed as a charity event to raise funds for Fine Green Paddock, “whose purpose is to help regional Australians whose lives and livelihoods have been devastated by natural disaster,” according to One Great Night On Earth organisers, who also estimated a $16 million intake. But that was way back in April, and two months later in August they again assured they were still on track to go ahead for their launch on the 1st of December.
A firm promise that quickly became fanciful, then impossible as the date drew ever closer – all the while without a whisper of a confirmed lineup, venue, or even simple details, despite project director and founder of Fine Green Paddock, Lyndel Moore, remaining adamant that the festival would run with ‘twelve hours of entertainment performed in front of an expected audience of between 80,000 – 100,000.
After a tip-off about the event’s not so smooth proceedings, Tone Deaf reached out to Moore for comment. She confirmed that the event would not be going ahead on December 1st, but declined to add any further comment as to the future of the ambitious event.
It may not come as a surprise given that the event’s supposed kick off is less than seven weeks away, and the only kind of movement on the festival comes from the Facebook page posting clips of vintage acts like Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, and nods to 1985′s Live Aid benefit concert.
Though brandishing teasers of a “lineup [that ] will consist of 90% US and UK acts” focused on a “Generation X/Baby Boomer” format, featuring “artists who have played from the 60s and 70s;” along with commenting on their social media that they had ”engaged a booking agent out of the UK at the start of the year… [Who] is one of the best in the business, though you don’t get to engage the skills of someone with his merit without signing an agreement that binds us to announce when they are ready.”
Looks now like they never will be…
Cancelling the event at this stage, with naught but hints of a festival site located “on private land in regional Victoria,” would seem a smart move. Avoiding a disastrous launch that, given the apparent lack of organisation and infrastructure to support its honourable but over-reaching ambitions, could’ve meant Australia had another festival horror story on its hands (in the vein of Supafest, Heatwave, Blueprint et al).
Particularly given One Great Night On Earth organisers’ intentions to donate the profits to charity. Even if they could have rolled ahead with their December launch, it could have ended up like the Reggae For Recovery concert held in Brisbane. An event with similarly good intentions to raise money for flood victims in Queensland, put on by promoter Andrew McManus, that failed to deliver a single dollar for flood victims after poor attendance actually saw the event lose money.
So while One Great Night On Earth is definitely not going ahead, seeing its glorious potential squandered as it goes gently into that good night seems a far better result for everyone involved than ignoring the very obvious risks it was taking in launching a virgin music event in today’s climate; where many have crumbled before they’ve even begun under far less ambitious aims (2011′s music event death toll should be a stark reminder).
It's been fun riding the emotional rollercoaster over the last year as the festival market in Australia continues to go through huge changes. Once proud festivals are gone and only a few are left to pick up the pieces.
We take a look back at the last 12 months and have a look at the carnage left behind as festival after festival is postponed, cancelled, or simply vanishes.
We could go on for hours with theories on why the market has been so volatile but we believe the words of Yosemite Sam probably sum it up best when he said 'This town aint big enough for the both of us'. Watch this slideshow »