What Now For Soundwave?

UPDATE 20/08/14: The Soundwave Festival 2015 lineup has arrived! Full details here.

With the situation surrounding the future of the Big Day Out and promoter AJ Maddah‘s role in it now a little clearer, questions are being asked about Maddah’s flagship event, Soundwave. In particular, what kind of impact the events of the past few days will have on the hard rock event.

Speaking earlier this evening to Triple J‘s Hack, Maddah admitted that the most recent instalment of Big Day Out had cost him $5.5 million, leaving him financially tight. “As a promoter you don’t have that kind of money lying, you know, you don’t have cash lying under the bed, so to speak,” he said.

Meanwhile, in the same interview, Maddah revealed that the sale of his 50 percent stake in the Big Day Out to Austin-based promoter and now owner of the iconic Australian festival, C3 Presents, came with “the option” of buying them at a later date, provided Maddah brings over extra capital.

This leaves the question of what the promoter will do to raise the capital necessary to relaunch the Big Day Out in 2016, as both he and C3 Presents have promised to do, and how this will impact Soundwave. Already, Maddah has discussed a possible expansion of Soundwave to New Zealand.

Maddah said on Twitter that in the absence of the Big Day Out, it is “possible” that a Soundwave showcase could come to New Zealand. Maddah has stated that if a New Zealand incarnation of Soundwave does indeed go ahead, Olly Martin, the promoter of Westfest — an Auckland based event with a hard rock-centred lineup similar to Soundwave — would be involved somehow.

During his appearance on Hack today, Maddah revealed that he and Martin had in fact “had conversations” during which they discussed rebranding the New Zealand promoter’s festival as a Soundwave event. Maddah stated that those plans were “well and truly underway last year.”

Earlier this year, Maddah confirmed that the Perth leg of the 2014 Soundwave festival would be the event’s last ever in the city. The mogul told fans that keeping the festival’s Perth run would kill the festival, saying, “[One] more year like this one in Perth and there would be no [SW] anywhere.”

Additionally, Maddah has revealed that SW organisers are considering launching the event’s 2015 instalment in Adelaide as opposed to its usual starting place of Brisbane, in an effort to curb lost business as a result of clashing with the Clipsal 500 and the Sydney Showgrounds “Gift Show.”

The recently confirmed absence of the BDO next year also leaves a empty spot on the summer festival schedule and a marketplace of fans with money to spend on a new event. However, Maddah insisted during his Hack appearance that he did not sabotage the BDO to favour Soundwave.

“[SW] was never looking doubtful, there’s a lot of offers of investment,” he said, though he admitted that selling his share of BDO would take the financial pressure off of his flagship event to recoup his $5.5 million deficit. “The losses of Big Day Out were a lot bigger than I expected,” he explained.

“I didn’t want to get into a situation where I had to bring investors in to Soundwave,” he continued. “I didn’t want to compromise on the quality of Soundwave, I didn’t want to compromise on what we deliver.” He insisted that Soundwave 2014 was not compromised as a result of his loss on the BDO.

The gap left by a BDO on hiatus could potentially be filled by the return of another Maddah venture, Harvest Festival. After an unfortunate cancellation last year, Maddah recently told the Full Metal Lockdown podcast that the event “will probably [return] in one form or another” but not this year.

Ultimately, the question everyone is asking is whether the strife experienced by the BDO during Maddah’s tenure will be detrimental to SW? Provided Maddah finds ways to intelligently expand and cut costs — which he appears to be doing with talk of New Zealand ventures, the return of Harvest, and attempts at curbing loss — Soundwave looks as though it will be here for years to come.

Listen: AJ Maddah on Hack 26/06/14

Soundwave 2015 lineup

Day One

Faith No More



Lamb Of God



Gerard Way


New Found Glory

Fear Factory

Hollywood Undead


The Aquabats

Area 7


Crown The Empire

The Interrupters

Icon For Hire

Emily’s Army

Patent Pending


The Bennies

The Color Morale


Nothing More


Ne Obliviscaris

The Treatment

Day Two



Marylin Manson

Fall Out Boy

Judas Priest


All Time Low

Papa Roach

Of Mice & Men

Escape The Fate



Tonight Alive


Butcher Babies

Evergreen Terrace


The Swellers



King 810


This Wild Life

Soundwave 2015 Festival Dates

Saturday, 21st February & Sunday, 22nd February 2015

Bonython Park, Adelaide, South Australia

Saturday, 21st February & Sunday, 22nd February 2015

Flemington Racecourse, Melbourne, Victoria

Saturday, 28th February & Sunday, 1st March 2015

Olympic Park, Sydney, New South Wales

Saturday, 28th February & Sunday, 1st March 2015

RNA Showgrounds, Brisbane, Queensland

Latest on Music Feeds

Load more