Just a month after wrapping up its 2015 event, organisers of Future Music Festival have announced the festival’s cancellation for the foreseeable future.
“It’s been a difficult decision to make but in the end travelling the festival in its current form across Australia simply doesn’t make financial sense anymore,” reads the statement from the festival.
In a subsequent statement, promoters Mushroom Group have echoed their concern about the future of the large travelling festival as we know it today. “The company will continue its focus on touring through its highly successful companies Frontier Touring, A Day On The Green and boutique music festival Sugar Mountain and the world’s largest under 18 music event Good Life,” reads the statement.
“The Group are developing a new festival concept, which is planned for the same time period previously held by Future Music Festival,” continues the statement, intriguingly. They did not elaborate on whether this mystery venture will be another dance music-focussed event.
Mushroom Group bought into Future Music Festival just two years ago, with reports at the time revealing that before the merger the previous Future Entertainment company was saddled with mountains of debt.
Future Music has made many a headline over the past few years over the number of drug arrests made at the festival, and this year the Asia leg of FMF was axed just a week out from when it was supposed to take place, after authorities in Singapore turned an appeal for a public entertainment licence over drug concerns.
The good news for underage punters is Mushroom’s confirmation that Future Music sister festival Good Life – which generally shares a lineup with Future Music – will continue on as a separate festival.
Adds chairman Michael Gudinski, “The decision to discontinue Future Music Festival was not made lightly. A point came though where it simply no longer made sense to continue. We believe in the festival industry in Australia and plan to announce an exciting new festival concept in the coming months.”
Gudinski’s views echo those made by Vans Warped Tour founder and boss Kevin Lyman in a recent TEDx talk, where he addressed the necessary changes that need to take place in the music festival industry, including the elimination of multi-day festivals and the appeal of destination events.
C3 Presents co-founder and one of the Big Day Out’s new American owners Charles Attal recently made the same claim that the “touring festival” is probably an outdated model, saying that it likely caused the BDO’s huge financial losses.
“We probably should’ve stuck with out program that we do over here. Instead, we went to same old model that used to run,” he said. “Remember when Lollapalooza was a touring concern? That model was already waning off here, and we should’ve known better. They need to make destination festivals. The touring festival is not working as well in Australia.”
Read our review of what is now the last ever Future Music Festival in Brisbane, featuring headliner Drake, The Prodigy and Die Antwoord.
Gallery: Future Music Festival 2015 @ Doomben Racecourse, Brisbane / Photos by Rebecca Reid