AJ Maddah Says Keeping Perth Soundwave Would Kill Festival

Soundwave promoter AJ Maddah has revealed via Twitter that keeping the now cancelled Perth leg of the Soundwave festival would have meant losing the festival altogether. Last week, Maddah said that he was “devastated” to lose the Perth event, but that it had become financially unviable.

Addressing a fan who asked if anything could be done to stave off the “kick in the teeth” to Perth fans, the outspoken promoter explained bluntly, “[One] more year like this one in Perth and there would be no [Soundwave] anywhere. Sorry. Perth is too expensive & not enough ticket sales.”

Asked to get into specifics, the mogul revealed that Perth ticket sales had fallen almost 70% from the previous year when Metallica, Blink 182, and Linkin Park headlined the event, and that sales were half that of 2012, which had a lineup featuring System of a Down, Slipknot, and Limp Bizkit.

Speaking to Ballarat community radio station Voice FM last week, Maddah blamed a “perfect shitstorm” for the death of Soundwave Perth, which included logistical issues and exorbitant travel costs, in addition to the notoriously hostile attitude of WA’s local and state governments.

“I haven’t minded losing a little bit most years in Perth in order to keep event national, but can no longer take the chance,” said Maddah, echoing sentiments he’d expressed when announcing the cancellation of Big Day Out Perth – that East Coast ticket sales subsidise Perth events.

Maddah added that “Universities and Tafes [sic] deciding to run on a public holiday didn’t help” ticket sales and that complaints about the quality of the lineup were unfounded, saying, “Line-up [sic] worked just fine on East Coast,” nor were Perth’s fly-in-fly-out miners to blame for low attendance.

Addressing a curious South Australian follower, Maddah said that ticket sales for the Adelaide event “weren’t great but in the right range,” keeping the Adelaide leg safe for now. “You guys keep coming to the show and we’ll keep bringing it! It’s a pretty simple formula,” explained Maddah.

Listen: AJ Maddah Interview on Voice FM

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