Soundwave 2015 Sydney / Photo: Liam Cameron

Adelaide Council Denies Claims It Overcharged Soundwave Festival With “Ridiculous” Fees

Adelaide City Council has denied accusations that it overcharged Soundwave Festival with “ridiculous” fees, after the boss of the now-defunct festival accused the council of “punishing Soundwave for being successful” and charging event organisers event fees totalling “almost 10 times” the usual amount.

Earlier this week, Soundwave promoter AJ Maddah lashed out at Adelaide City Council after news broke that the council had waved Soundwave’s $75K debt, which effectively means ratepayers have been left to cover the cost.

Now, in a statement to Music Feeds, the City Of Adelaide says, “Soundwave paid normal rates to use the space as per our rates schedule, plus standard remediation costs which are charged to all event organisers who use the Park Lands and Squares to ensure they are returned to their pre-event state.”

The council says all event applications it receives are “assessed against the same criteria”, but wouldn’t comment on Maddah’s claims that the council and its employees “abused” the festival’s hospitality.

In his statement to Music Feeds, Maddah said that Soundwave had supported the city of Adelaide for over a decade by paying “ridiculous Adelaide City Council charges”, providing jobs to “thousands” of locals, booking “thousands of hotel rooms” and buying “close to $1 million in backstage catering supplied locally”.

He also said that Adelaide City Council was involved in “doubling and quadrupling the rent at [Soundwave venue] Bonython Park… and employing every third world tactic imaginable to squeeze the event”.

Soundwave was last held in Bonython Park in February 2015, a year before the festival went under due to financial difficulties.

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