After an uphill battle to get their event approved by the region’s new local council, organisers behind North Queensland festival Whitsunday Calling have announced that the event will be cancelled. Unfortunately, as gates were meant to open to campers this morning, many a ticketholder has been left with nowhere to go.
Promoter John ‘Scratch’ Grey took to social media to spread the word that the event would not be happening, explaining that there was a last-minute spanner in the works that would have meant a pretty lousy festival had it gone ahead:
“We were let down by the company supplying the P.A. system and despite our best efforts to source a replacement supplier, no equipment was available to the standard expected by these international bands at such short notice.”
The posts were said to have gone live 5:30 yesterday evening, however it appears it was too little too late. Many ticketholders eager to get amongst it had planned to make the most of the festival’s 7am start this morning and when they arrived, there was no festival to great them.
With a capacity of 3,000 people, Whitsunday Calling had focused on a niche crowd, promising performances from Ash Grunwald and the cohort of musicians set to make up an Aussie rock supergroup including Mark Evans (AC/DC), Graham “Buzz” Bidstrup (The Angels), Mark Gable (The Choirboys) and Les Gock (Hush) as well as a flurry of other artists.
Now, organisers have the difficult battle of refunding all the tickets, telling TheMusic.com.au that, “We want to make sure ticket holders do get a refund so we will do our utmost to achieve this.”
Earlier in the year, Grey fessed up to the struggle going on behind the scenes of the event, explaining it had been an “ongoing battle” with plans for the festival to take place in September of last year. “Then the election came and there was a complete new line-up of state and local government,” he said. “We had to start all over again.”