Outspoken Soundwave Festival promoter AJ Maddah has said he is “devastated” that next Monday’s Soundwave festival in Perth will be Western Australia’s last, finally confirming the long-predicted news that skirmishes with local governments and high costs have made the Western Australian festival circuit a financial and logistical burden.
FasterLouder reports, Maddah blamed a “perfect shitstorm” of reasons when explaining the situation to Ballarat community radio station The Voice FM last night. “Everything that could go wrong has gone wrong,” he said. “It’s really, really sad but the reality of the situation is that Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne have been subsidising Perth since the thing went national.”
“It’s also the combination of the perfect shitstorm of the Perth governments – both local and state level – being very difficult and making it really clear that they don’t really want to deal with festivals,” Maddah continued. “They don’t really care if we don’t go there.”
The long, drawn-out battles between Western Australian governments and touring music festivals came to a head earlier this year, when Big Day Out CEO Adam Zammit announced the cancelation of the event in WA for the foreseeable future. While AJ Maddah, who also promoted the Big Day Out this year, also hinted to the demise of Soundwave on the West Coast.
Maddah predicted the end of Soundwave in Perth a few weeks back via Twitter, proclaiming, “I reckon there will be zero festivals going to WA in 2015.” He also expressed doubt about the future of the Adelaide leg of the festival, but later confirmed the event will tour there in 2015. “We’re looking at 4 cities. I count Adelaide as East Coast,” he wrote.
Political reasoning aside, Maddah also highlighted economic strains, revealing that the costs of the Perth show added a hefty levy on top of tickets for the event in other cities, which many punters have criticised for being too steep. He said the “so-called ‘mining boom’” has created “astronomical” prices for doing business in Perth.
The promoter explained that the expense of taking 60 odd trucks across the Nullarbor and thousands of people to Perth for Soundwave has become “just crazy”. Maddah said dropping Perth from the Soundwave schedule could make tickets for the 2015 shows in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide up to $20 cheaper.
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