The old adage “as one door closes, another door opens” could comfortably be applied to the current Australian festival scene, with Soundwave promoter AJ Maddah claiming that the previously scrapped Harvest Festival could return in the near future.
“It will probably [return] in one form or another but it won’t be this year,” Maddah told host Tom Roberts during an appearance on the Full Metal Lockdown podcast. “This year is already half done.” Maddah went on to describe the festival, which made its debut in 2011 and held its sophomore event the following year, as “an amazing event.”
“Without wanting to kind of blow sunshine up my own arse it’s probably the best festival I’ve ever been to, in terms of vibe and everything that was going on,” he added. “Obviously I’d love to see it back, but definitely not this year.”
Harvest Festival was cancelled in 2013, citing a “lack of interest” that resulted in poor ticket sales. The 2013 lineup had been scheduled to include Massive Attack, Franz Ferdinand, Neutral Milk Hotel and Goldfrapp. The festival went on to disassociate into several separate headline tours.
At the time, Maddah told Fairfax Media that continuing with the festival would have left him facing a loss of up to $5.5 million. “I’m happy to assume risk when that risk is to me, but there comes a point where the risk is to suppliers and bands and everyone involved,” he said. “Ethically I can only take risks at my expense… I don’t want to add to the statistics of festivals f––king people over. I don’t want anyone else to get hurt over this.”
The return of a beloved festival would certainly be welcomed by some punters, especially in light of the news that Maddah’s other festival, the Vans Warped Tour, won’t be going ahead in Australia in 2014. It was also reported by Music Feeds earlier today that Maddah has relinquished his stake in the Big Day Out — which he obtained after Harvest was cancelled — transferring his shares entirely to US-based company C3 Presents.
During his appearance on the Full Metal Lockdown podcast, Maddah also talked about next year’s Soundwave lineup, teased four headline acts for 2015 and revealed the name of the mystery band who pulled out of the ill-fated 2011 Soundwave Revolution, forcing its eventual cancellation. Listen to the full interview here.
Listen: AJ Maddah on the Full Metal Lockdown Podcast