Ken West has spoken out again about the current festival market, the hardships promoters face, expensive talent, and dirty social media tactics from rival promoters “Shit canning your show”.
In an interview with Adelaide Now, West has spoken about the rivalry in the current festival market, saying that “there’s so much vitriol now. You know there’s other promoters putting postings under fake names shit canning your show.”
This comes after a candid interview West did a few weeks ago, where he seemed to question certain tactics from Soundwave promoter AJ Maddah claiming that he’s a “financial anarchist” and saying that “He should go to another country. He’s done more harm to what was a reasonably stable business here.”
It all comes in the reaction to criticism of this year’s tour, with punter’s reaction to a not-so-flash line-up leading to a downsizing of some of the events.
West, who is now the solo promoter for the Big Day Out tour, continues with his comments about social media, saying “With the Facebook and Twitter world, you only have five minutes to convince people now, if they go ‘Pfffft’, then getting them back is really hard.”
Couple this with ‘talent’ demanding too much money for appearances, therefore driving up ticket prices, it makes you wonder how you can get a happy medium of fair pricing vs. good quality international bands.
“The talent costs are so high. It was like, ‘If you don’t match that, you don’t get us’. Then you make bad decisions. Tickets for Eminem were up to $400. Good seats for Foo Fighters were $180; they’re festival ticket prices. Something’s got to give,” he says.
“All the promoters are pulling their hair out. People think a festival ticket is expensive, but it’s not considering the talent fee. There’s an oversupply of events and an undersupply of talent.”
West’s counter tactics for the 2013 and 2014 events will be through a new partnership with Lollaplooza promoters C3 Presents. “The only way this could go was partner up with some like-minded people from America. And not ones without heart.”
West was also outspoken about the bidding war over re-formed UK band the Stone Roses, now tipped for Future Music 2013.
“I was the last person to tour them here, we didn’t pay very much for them, they did OK, but fundamentally they’re not a good live band. It’s a very cynical exercise in what people are prepared to pay for them.”