Another Festival Falls Over As Peats Ridge Collapses Under Debt
Just weeks after putting on a huge festival with a range of musical delights on offer, with a late addition meaning there were more than 100 bands on the 2012 bill, the New South Wales’s New Year Eve festival Peats Ridge looks certain to shut up shop.
Speaking to The Music, Peats Ridge Creative Director Matt Grant revealed that poor tickets sales have left the company behind Peats Ridge, The Festival Company, in financial ruin and they have no choice but to wind the company up, admitting insurmountable debts.
“In the wake of what was an incredible 2012 Peats Ridge Festival, it is with great regret that I have to announce that the income from ticket sales and other sources fell below that required to meet the costs of the event,” Grant revealed. “As a result, the festival’s accountants have advised that the entity that runs the Festival be wound up.”
“We are in discussion with various parties about the future of the festival and will release information as soon as it becomes available,” he added, “I would like to thank everybody involved in creating the 2012 Festival and for making such an extraordinary and memorable event possible.”
The event has been running for nine years and regularly sees over 200 acts perform each year, this year featuring headliners The John Butter Trio, Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings, The Black Seeds, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, and more this year.
The festival is also regularly applauded for its approach to sustainability, hosting a dedicated eco-living education program as well as extensive environmental initiatives and awards in addition to its arts and music programme.
The Festival Company were also involved in Sydney’s Surry Hills Community Festival last year, but Grant stresses that it will be unaffected by the financial woes of his business. “The Surry Hills Neighbourhood Centre will continue to be the promoters of the Surry Hlls Festival and this process in no way effects either The Surry Hills Festival or the Neighbourhood Centre,” Grant said.
Peats Ridge isn’t the first music event that’s struggled in an oversaturated market, where even the big players like Falls Festival, Homebake, and Big Day Out’s promoter Ken West, have felt the squeeze.
With 2011′s music event death toll acting as a stark reminder, many major promoters and industry figures around Australia have been forging new business partnerships and alliances to strengthen themselves in the ruthless music festival market.
The Chugg Entertainment group recently announced an alliance with Homebake 2012 as co-promoters, while top brass from Splendour In The Grass, Jessica Ducrou and Paul Piticco, stepped in and bought a share of Falls Festival with Simon Daly.
The Dainty Group partnered with former Big Day Out promoter Vivian Lees to create Two Worlds Touring last September. Meanwhile Lees’ former partner, Ken West sought solace in a new partnership with C3 Presents, the international company responsible for the likes of Lollapalooza and Austin City Limits, bringing their considerable promotional power to the Big Day Out, which kicked off today in Sydney.
Unfortunately, many more music festivals have fallen over in the last 12 months than been created, either through lack of organisation and infrastructure, or over-reaching ambitions. Including charity event One Great Night On Earth quietly folding, the dissolution of the Kangaroo Island Surf and Music Festival after blowing $500,000, the cancellation of Perth’s On The Bright Side, Victoria’s Castle Music Festival falling over, Tasmania’s Soundscape Festival quietly exiting the scene, Raggamuffin calling it a day, and NSW’s Central Coast Coaster Festival coming apart.
Hopefully 2013 will see the competitive market levelling out, rather than tough financial times and oversaturation claiming more music festival victims.
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 »