Brand new Aussie touring festival Holi Play has been cancelled just weeks after announcing its inaugural lineup.
The event, which had advertised dates in Perth, Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne, was due to be headlined by dance megastars Steve Angello and Afrojack, together with Jamaican pop star OMI and a supporting cast of over 50 DJs and local live acts.
Nicknamed the “Festival Of Colours” because of its penchant for smothering punters in coloured paint, the festival also spruiked four themed stages, a water park, rides, an outdoor cinema, yoga and dance classes, and a “beauty longe”.
However, suspicions were aroused once fans realised that Holi Play’s Melbourne date clashed with both Angello and Afrojack’s performances in the UK and South Africa, prompting organisers to assure inthemix that they were in negotiations with the artists’ managers to reschedule the date in question to March.
But now, the whole enterprise has been scrapped, with the CEO of the event team behind the festival, Colucci Group’s George Amaral, confirming the cancellation to Junkee in a lengthy and bizarre diatribe that levels blame at “internat hatters”, the price of headline acts and even the Australian government.
It reads, in part:
“We are NOT scam and this never was our plan to cancel the event and steal people’s money. The current scenario of music events in Australia is the worst we have ever seen. The government only not dont support the music events, as they try to ruin it with laws that clearly injury our industry. Once more again , the innocent people pay the consequences for the actions of a few irresponsibles. That’s why MANY music festivals are cancelling and dont going ahead, because of the current scenario of the country. Thats why most of international artists and promoters dont organize more events in cities like Perth and Adelaide. Thats why big festivals like soundwave and future music was cancelled, because there’s no support from anyone.”
Amaral has assured punters that refunds will be made soon. However, websites for both Holi Play Festival and the Colucci Group have both since been taken offline.
Read the full statement from CEO George Amaral below (if you dare).
Watch: Festival Of Colours Australia 2016
Holi Play Festival Cancellation Statement:
Sadly, we want to announce the festival tour in Australia is cancelled even before we start to run the promotion.
Due a few rumours that the festival was scam, third party (like the other festival of colours that is going to happen in Melbourne, that by the way even We knowing that they booked and cancelled with many other venues last month and booked DJ’s and did not pay the agents, We did not the dirty game they did with us), that we believe that is other events promoters with festivals close to our dates, could be spreading online to confuse the people that was really interested.
We are NOT scam and this never was our plan to cancel the event and steal people’s money, we already organized this same festival in FOUR different countries , with over 25k people each country, and we dont need to do that, we are professionals, and no , we dont need to have a wikipedia page or tons of media content with the prior activities of our company to prove that we are serious , as a few people said that they could not find anything on google, and because of that , they just supposed the the festival was scam and not only supposed , but made sure everyone would know his , but if he had asked for us about our past experience and even proofs about it, he would totally know, but OF COURSE they did not ask, people like to judge. And other few VERY SERIOUS things were reasons to people think that the event was scam , like , spelling mistakes, the mobille designer of the website, as you guys can see, very serious things. And more that we would love to talk bellow.
Also, due to the low sales of the tickets. Even we did not really started to run the official promo of the event, we reached in until today, 10k people for our website, and just a little percentage bought tickets. For those who bought it, we gonna refund in until 30 days, since the paypal hold the money for 21 business days , until we can be able to make the transition. We already contacted the paypal to let them know it, and the people who bought the tickets will be the first to know about it , by email. Again, to show that we are no scam , we of course will offer the refunds to those who bought, and trusted on us, we would like to thank them for that, and say I am sorry , unfortunately those who were really interested and excited for the festival will pay th consequences for the action of a few unhappy internat hatters.
And to finish, due the current scenario of music events in Australia, that is the worst we have ever seen. The government only not dont support the music events, as they try to ruin it with laws that clearly injury our industry. Once more again , the innocent people pay the consequences for the actions of a few irresponsibles.
That’s why MANY music festivals are cancelling and dont going ahead, because of the current scenario of the country. Thats why most of international artists and promoters dont organize more events in cities like Perth and Adelaide. Thats why big festivals like soundwave and future music was cancelled, because there’s no support from anyone.
People are so easy judgemental and in this case, for idiot reasons like already said and that I will say more bellow.
We started the negotiation on the beginning of December. Does those people know how much is it to organize a music festival like that? Minimum $1.5 MILLION , and NONE event promoters take out all this money from their own pocket to organize and take this risk. The few who pay in advance for all the costs, are the ones who get government grants that should be going to charity , and corporation sponsorships, the other ones, depend of tickets sales. We tried to get sponsorships but the was already too late, so this was our case. Does They know how much it costs to book big headliners DJs? OF COURSE they dont, because if they even want to, they wont be able to get this information, as the booking agent make things very hard to promoters.
I wonder if those people did bother themselves to call the booking agents, of the venues, and headliners to know more, and if they do that, they will gonna know that we were to sign the contracts. And we did not yet because of the two weeks of holidays break last month, that everyone got in break, but of course people expected us to reply eall mails even receiving an automatic reply , they would presume that we are spams because we took a little more time to get back to them, because of course we should be replying emails on Christmas night, as we are not humans, events promoters are not humans, and robots made in china with tons of money , that likes to throw parties for people.
Thats what we think those people think , and thats also totally true. We are humans being, and we work harder than someone who work full time , we have a lot of pressure, from people, booking agents, everyone, everyone wants their money before the event even be launched, but no one wants to partner with the event , embrace the idea and make something bigger together , alongside with the promoter.
if people would spread the event as much as they spread some fake things, this festival and many other would not be cancelling now.Yes we are professionals, we are events promoters, and no, this is not a role of events promoter, to need to post a screenshot of the contracts to prove of their genuine intention.
We are happy that we cancelled it before the promo had started to run and more people have bought tickets. Who loses with that is just you, yes you, who were interested in attending and will miss a SUPER FUN experience that is our festival, you hotel owner that we going to make money with hotel reservations , you vendors that could make a lot of money , you promoters, you booking agents, everyone , and believe or not, even the government , that we as going to take a big part of the festival earnings in taxes. We dont lose nothing with this, we promote events all around the world.
We are afraid if this scenario continues , of no one collaborating, from booking agents to people in general, Australia will just have festivals of run, and government public festivals, that is a shame compared to other countries. We incentive locals promoters to stand out for your rights, because you yes, are losing with this scenario, and we wish the best for you as we know how hard is to work like that.
This is a personal letter , an outflow, instead of a professional one, as we have been professionals the whole time and people still were not satisfied, from the CEO of a company with twenty AMAZING people who endless worked for this festival to happen , but the people made it impossible.
Wish you all the best,