NewsWritten by Music Feeds on June 5, 2017
Soundwave boss AJ Maddah has unleashed a fiery statement in response to backlash over Adelaide City Council waving the festival’s $75K debt.
Echoing the sentiments of some commentators on Music Feeds‘ original article, the industry veteran has called out the local government for “punishing” the blockbuster music festival for its success over the years by “employing every third world tactic imaginable to squeeze the event”.
His full statement to Music Feeds reads:
For over a decade Soundwave brought events to Adelaide and over that time provided jobs to thousands of South Australians, hiring thousand of hotel rooms, rental cars, close to $1 million in backstage catering supplied locally, paid ridiculous Adelaide City Council charges and incidentally provided entertainment for South Australian youth, the most marginalised and forgotten section of the South Australian population with the highest rate of boredom, despondency and suicide.
And over that decade Adelaide City Council constantly punished Soundwave for being a successful event. Doubling and quadrupling the rent at Bonython Park and charging us close to 10 times what it charged other events that used the park and employing every third world tactic imaginable to squeeze the event.
In the meanwhile council staff, including elected officials abused the festival’s hospitality, demanded backstage access for their kids who never paid to attend and made a nuisance of themselves at every turn. We took all of this, grimaced and persevered despite the Adelaide market only turning a profit once in the history of the event.
Soundwave incurred catastrophic losses in 2015, with Adelaide accounting for a high portion of the loss. We were simply unable to meet the council’s post event demands. But over its lifetime, Soundwave was a net contributor to ACC and the taxpayer by a very significant margin.
So, Adelaide City Council, what does the car racing and vanity events sponsored and subsidised by the Council cost the Adelaide taxpayer EVERY SINGLE YEAR?
Soundwave was last held in Adelaide’s Bonython Park back in February 2015, a year before the festival itself collapsed due to financial difficulties.
Music Feeds has contacted Adelaide City Council for comment.
UPDATE: Adelaide City Council has denied Maddah’s claims that it overcharged Soundwave with “ridiculous” fees.
Gallery: 11 Unforgettable Soundwave Festival Moments
Gwar - Soundwave 2014
Interstellar gods of metal GWAR well and truly made their mark on Australian audiences at Soundwave 2014 when front-thing Oderus Urungus used his mighty sword to decapitate an effigy of our widely-loathed PM Tony Abbott and soak the cheering crowd in his blood. Not even Napisan Plus could remove those pink stains which, for many, would soon become a sweaty memento from one of the last performances Urungus would ever give. His human alter ego, Dave Brockie, died tragically just weeks later from a heroin overdose.
Mike Patton - Soundwave 2010
Nothing like a bit of mid-set nudity to make Faith No More’s headlining slot at Brisbane Soundwave in 2010 even more, uh, Epic. Frontman Mike Patton proved he was Just A Man by unleashing Mike Jr. from his trousered hideaway and literally rocking out with his cock out.
Bloodhound - Soundwave 2009
An honourable mention must go to the Bloodhound Gang, who took the stage in 2009 to effectively reduce the throng of adult metalheads into sexually frustrated 13-year-olds. They did it like they did on the Discovery Channel, with healthy dose of Foxtrot Uniform Charlie Kilo. Nostalgia was everywhere. As were bewbs.
Alexisonfire - Soundwave 2010
As anyone who was on the scene for Sydney Soundwave 2010 can attest, that was the hottest fucking day in the history of the earth. The festival, then-held out near Eastern Creek Raceway, was one giant dustbowl, and those who withstood the 40+ temperatures were coughing up dirt for the next three days. Alexisonfire must have pre-empted this outcome and decided: fuck it. Frontman George Pettit jumped into the crowd mid-set and gave himself a dirt-bath in the middle of the pit. Who needs sunblock when you’re covered in a 2-inch thick layer of dust anyway? Epic.
All Time Low - Soundwave 2015
When the sky opened up and unleashed a rainstorm of hell upon Sydney Soundwave earlier this year, right in the middle of All Time Low’s set, the Baltimore pop punk’s gear got wrecked, and the band were unable to play on. However, instead of letting the storm beat them, frontman Alex Gaskarth ploughed onward, leading fans in an a cappella singalong of his band’s track Weightlessas well as some of Queen’s We Will Rock You. Many people became All Time Low fans that day.
Dallas Green – Soundwave 2008
Dallas Green performed a musical screaming eagle in ’08 when he appeared as the frontman of both Alexisonfire and City + Colour. Crushing skulls and melting hearts. All in a day’s work.
Fucked Up - Soundwave 2011
The spirit of punk was alive and well at SW11 when Fucked Up gave an expectedly insane performance, complete with hair-ripping, sweaty hugging, and beast frontman Damien force-feeding the mic to members of the crowd. This set will probably go down in Aussie festival history.
Killer Be Killed – Soundwave 2015
After a hurricane of hype leading up to their global live debut at Soundwave 2015, metal supergroup Killer Be Killed – featuring Max Cavalera, Greg Puciato, Troy Sanders and Ben Koller – did not disappoint, delivering an absolutely pulverising set.
Blink-182 – Soundwave 2013
A Travis Barker-less Blink-182 shot their love all over the crowd during their headlining set at Soundwave 2013. With Bad Religion drummer Brooks Wackerman filling in on the skins, the pop punk trio capped off their first show in Australia since 2004 by wheeling out a massive confetti canon and opening fire on a sweat-drenched mosh pit, absolutely smothering fans in the coloured stuff. Many shower drains got clogged, that fateful night.
Slash – Soundwave 2012
Alter Bridge pulled a rabbit out of their hat during their Sydney set in 2012, and by hat we mean top hat and by rabbit we mean guitar legend Slash, who was wearing the hat. The ex-Guns N’ Roses icon wasn’t even known to be in the country at the time, but he majestically appeared to claim an unused Marshall stack and Gibson Les Paul and join his singer Myles Kennedy for a few choice AB jams. You really never can tell just when #wunterslaush is going to turn up somewhere.
Jane’s Addiction – Soundwave 2010
Soundwave 2010 was bittersweet for Jane’s Addiction fans, marking the band’s last ever tour. As ladies danced onstage and punters tried to mask their lonely tears, Eric Avery’s words rang home: “That’s it. With equal parts regret and relief, the Jane’s Addiction experiment is at an end.”