Soundwave 2015, Adelaide / Photo: Nic Bezzina

AJ Maddah Accuses Adelaide Council Of “Punishing Soundwave For Being Successful”

Soundwave boss AJ Maddah has unleashed a fiery statement in response to backlash over Adelaide City Council waving the festival’s $75K debt.

Echoing the sentiments of some commentators on Music Feeds‘ original article, the industry veteran has called out the local government for “punishing” the blockbuster music festival for its success over the years by “employing every third world tactic imaginable to squeeze the event”.

His full statement to Music Feeds reads:

For over a decade Soundwave brought events to Adelaide and over that time provided jobs to thousands of South Australians, hiring thousand of hotel rooms, rental cars, close to $1 million in backstage catering supplied locally, paid ridiculous Adelaide City Council charges and incidentally provided entertainment for South Australian youth, the most marginalised and forgotten section of the South Australian population with the highest rate of boredom, despondency and suicide.

And over that decade Adelaide City Council constantly punished Soundwave for being a successful event. Doubling and quadrupling the rent at Bonython Park and charging us close to 10 times what it charged other events that used the park and employing every third world tactic imaginable to squeeze the event.

In the meanwhile council staff, including elected officials abused the festival’s hospitality, demanded backstage access for their kids who never paid to attend and made a nuisance of themselves at every turn. We took all of this, grimaced and persevered despite the Adelaide market only turning a profit once in the history of the event.

Soundwave incurred catastrophic losses in 2015, with Adelaide accounting for a high portion of the loss. We were simply unable to meet the council’s post event demands. But over its lifetime, Soundwave was a net contributor to ACC and the taxpayer by a very significant margin.

So, Adelaide City Council, what does the car racing and vanity events sponsored and subsidised by the Council cost the Adelaide taxpayer EVERY SINGLE YEAR?

Soundwave was last held in Adelaide’s Bonython Park back in February 2015, a year before the festival itself collapsed due to financial difficulties.

Music Feeds has contacted Adelaide City Council for comment.

UPDATE: Adelaide City Council has denied Maddah’s claims that it overcharged Soundwave with “ridiculous” fees.

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