Updated: Jan 24, 2019
Metavents in partnership with Future Music Industry Network (FMIN) launches a comprehensive study into the economic impact of cancelled festivals.
The survey will run from May 30 - June 31.
Findings will be available mid July.
For more information contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
The first phase of the study will focus on Australia but we are currently seeking international partners to make this a global study.
This research will attempt to quantify the true costs of cancelled festivals across Australia, since 2012. We will then simulate what the next five years might look like if more festivals succeeded. The research will comprise of surveys tailored to the following cohorts:
Festival directors, producers & core team
Audio/Visual artist & performers
Labour, supplier & vendor ecosystem
Emergency management, safety & security
Grants, partnerships, sponsorship & investment
Attendees & community
Education, work experience & Career pathways
This study follows on from research conducted between 2014 - 2016 on festival failure drivers from which, Metavents was designed. Many of the insights have come directly from observing the planning and operations of 2015 Soundwave, 2015 Stereosonics, 2015 & 2016 Maitreya Festivals.
Maitreya Festival 2015
A recent post in the Melbourne Doofers Facebook group requesting names of cancelled festivals quickly return a rather large and depressing list. However, it also demonstrated the willingness of the festival community to engage in constructive discussion on the subject.
Cancelled Festivals 2012 - 2017.
2017 The Shiny Disco Ball ACT
2017 Autumn Equinox QLD
2017 Monsoon Rockstock QLD
2017 Party In The Park NSW
2017 Chi Wow Wah Town VIC
2017 Bushweek FNQLD
2017 Earth VIC
2017 Yemaya VIC
2017 Maitreya QLD
2017 Babylon NSW
2016 Cheesfest (Food&Wine) SA
2016 Disconnect WA
2016 Maitreya VIC
2016 Soundwave VIC, NSW, SA, QLD, WA
2016 Stereosonic VIC, NSW, SA, QLD, WA
2016 Legion (Soundwave replacement) VIC, NSW, SA, QLD, WA
2016 Local Produce VIC
2016 Lucid Labyrinth NSW
2016 Burning Seed NSW
2016 Confest VIC
2015 Bojangles VIC
2015 Soulfest VIC
2015 Yemaya VIC
2015 Industrial Jungle VIC
2015 Big Day Out VIC, NSW, SA, QLD, WA
2015 BFG Winter Solstice VIC
2014 Future Music VIC, NSW, SA, QLD, WA
2014 Fat as Butter, NSW
2014 Bojangles VIC
2014 Harmonize QLD
2013 Parklife VIC
2013 Confest VIC
2013 Psychedelica VIC
2013 Harvest VIC
2013 Lost The Plot VIC
2012 Playground Weekender VIC
2012 Royal Doof VIC
2012 Good Vibes VIC, NSW, QLD, WA
2012 Pyramid Rock VIC
While Australia is geographically disadvantaged, with a much smaller market to other countries, festivals globally share the same problems with planning and execution. Everfest List of cancelled US festivals for 2016
Producing a festival in Australia is only getting harder. An outdoor event called The Shiny Disco Ball was cancelled as recently as two days ago. Despite having met every legal requirement, it was shut down by the Australian Federal Police on the day of the event. The cancellation was made worse due to it being a fundraiser for the crew's earlier festival, Psyfari which took a significant financial loss.
In a similar scenario, one of Australia's most respected festivals, Earth Frequency from Queensland was almost cancelled due to planning difficulties. It did manage to proceed but took a significant financial loss as a consequence. They set up a GoFundMe Campaign seeking assistance of $50,000.
Earth Frequency Festival 2016
While some of the events listed above have been train wrecks, they all pale in comparison to the recent, Fyre Festival. Founders Billy McFarland and Ja Rule are now facing several class action lawsuits. One of them worth AU$133m. The video below offers a glimpse into the ill-fated event.
Fyre Festival 2017
By now, you should have a good idea of the challenges our beloved festival industry and culture is facing. While we are confident Metavents will solve most of the problems associated with planning a large scale event, much more needs to be done. We need to come together as an industry and fix our own problems using the best data, technology and thinking currently available to us. So mark the 30th of May in your calendars and keep 20 min spare to participate in the first of our surveys.
On behalf of the Metavents team, thank you for reading, sharing and discussing.
PS Don't forget to subscribe.