UPDATE 02/11/16: Legion Festival 2017 has been cancelled.
ORIGINAL STORY:Legion Festival big gun John Sankey gave us the inside story on the festival’s tumultuous last 24 hours during our interview this morning following the leak of plans to move the festival from March 2016 to January 2017 and yesterdays subsequent statement.
Filling us in on everything from the festival’s early days to the what led the Legion team to make the date change, we though we might condense the key points down into a little article for any of you out there without a spare half hour to listen to the whole interview.
It Was Meant To Be A Lot Smaller
One of the main criticisms leveled at Legion has been that the festival is just too ambitious. Aiming to raise over $3 million via a pozible campaign in 30 days (although that has been extended now with the date change) many of us thought the festival was doomed to fail from the get go.
However as it turns out that the reason the target seemed so ambitious was that the original plan was to “put on a much smaller scale festival in some of the cities,” Sankey said.
“That was the plan,” he continued adding that “once word got out, everything just blew up… and we thought ok maybe this is going to be bigger than expected,” with Sankey and co adjusting their targets to reflect that… although they seem to overshot the mark quite a bit judging by the current state of the pozible campaign.
Industry Insiders That Convinced Them To Go Big and Change The Date
Time and time again during the interview Sankey makes it clear that the decision to change the date and extend the pozible campaign was made in part due to encouragement from industry figures.
“So many people want to make this work,” he told us “but a lot of them are saying that if we hold off, maybe this things will be way bigger than anything you guys first imagined. And that’s the main reason for us pushing back the date”
Very confident the new 2017 dates will prove successful, Sankey is explicitly clear that the decision to change the date was made out of confidence in the 2017 event and not desperation at not reaching the initial crowd funding target.
“We wouldn’t have put ourselves out there again and said ok we’re extending this, we’re moving the dates if we didn’t really feel confident that we could do it on this bigger scale and that we could make it happen,” he told us.
They’re Not Trying To Take The Place Of Soundwave.
Despite initially being sold as a replacement for the now defunct Soundwave festival, according to Sankey the plan was never to come in and say “we want to be as big as Soundwave,” describing such thinking as “completely unrealistic.”
“It’s certainly grown a lot larger in scale than we initially considered, but we aren’t looking to take the place of Soundwave” he said, although adding that “it would be great to grow into that.”
Still considering the festival is very much targeting the same market, and even looking to take over the same date, regardless of what Sankey says, if it goes ahead Legion will very much take the place of Soundwave. Plus with the proposed venues now approaching the scale of Soundwave, it’s clear that Sankey and co are hoping to position Legion as Australia’s premiere heavy music festival.
The Festival Will Probably Go Ahead Even If The Pozible Campaign Doesn’t Reach It’s Target.
When asked whether there are any back up plans should the festival’s pozible campaign not reach it’s target, Sankey is very cagey. Going to great lengths and detail to make it clear that the team are 100% focused on meeting the pozible target, he nevertheless leaves the possibility of the festival going ahead regardless very much open.
“As far as back up plans go obviously we’ve talked about it. There’s nothing firmly in place at the moment though as we truly believe that with this opportunity we’ve got and with the support we’ve got behind the scenes that we can make the crowd funding work,” he explained.
“Not saying that if it doesn’t that that’s the end, because we really want to make this thing happen” he was quick to add, going on to say that “at the end of the day we certainly want to do something”and that if the target is not reached the team will “have to regroup and look at the options.
“The venues we are looking at are scale-able because we wanted to have the option to, well preferably expand, and we wouldn’t really want to go backwards, but we would look at all the options if we didn’t reach that goal.
“But right now we want to feel confident and we want to feel like right now, this is purely our focus and this is our aim and let’s do everything we can to get to that point.”
Anyway, if you do have the time and and the interest you can listen to the full interview here below.