Organisers of Soundwave‘s New Zealand sister festival, Westfest, have taken to Facebook to defend their decision to substantially lower ticket prices in order to pull in more punters and ensure today’s event goes ahead.
Prices for tickets to Westfest — not officially associated with Soundwave but featuring a lineup mostly comprised of Soundwave acts — were cut from $178 to $99 in the weeks leading up to the festival by promoters ODR Productions, angering some festivalgoers who had purchased full-price tickets.
“ODR is not a multi million dollar corporation that is out to rip off our supporters,” a statement posted on the event’s Facebook read. “We are 2 guys aged 24 and 31 who are trying to put on the best heavy music festival in NZ.”
“The reality is that putting on music festivals is a risky / expensive business and we have been hit with a few huge expenses the last few weeks / months. The NZ Dollar losing 20% of its value in particular has really slammed us as most bands contracts are in USD.”
One NZ dollar currently equates to 0.75 US dollars which is the lowest it’s been since May 2012.
Organisers explained that cutting ticket prices was the only way they could sell enough tickets to make sure the event went ahead. “We are going to lose a huge amount of $ on this festival but we feel the most important thing is that the festival goes ahead and everyone has the best time,” they wrote.
A special-price ticket offer for 2016 has been promised to those who paid full-price for the 2015 event.
The event will now go ahead as planned, with the festival boasting the “largest physical stage NZ has ever seen.” Acts playing today include Faith No More, Soundgarden, Judas Priest, Fall Out Boy and more.