Newly established, crowdfunded festival Marmalade Skies, due to take place in Goulburn NSW this December, has been postponed indefinitely, apparently due to concerns raised by the local council, police and fire departments of a large fire risk and a failure to submit the necessary council applications in time for consideration.
“Unfortunately inside the last 36 hours Marmalade Skies Festival has received some devastating news,” organisers wrote on Facebook overnight. “During a scheduled site inspection, Goulburn Mulwareee Council, alongside the local police and fire department, have decided that there is too great a fire risk for the event to go ahead on the weekend of the 12-13 Dec.”
According to organisers, factors like a hotter and drier than expected summer forecast, the untested location and the heritage values of the buildings located on the property all contributed to the decision for Marmalade Skies not to go ahead on the previously scheduled date.
“MSF organisers have been working very closely with the Council to attempt to find a solution, however, due to the extremely limited time remaining before the event, it is not possible to implement any adequate additional procedures to ensure the safety of all those involved,” they add.
However, as reported by The Goulburn Post, questionable fire-safety was not the only reason the festival may not have gone ahead. An official Development Application was reportedly yet to be handed to the council’s planning department for consideration, even though hundreds of tickets had been sold, artists had been booked and construction on the festival site was due to start next week.
Goulburn Mulwaree Planning and Development director Louise Wakefield said on Wednesday that the council had still not received a development application for the event. “Basically the Council’s position is that it would now be quite impractical to organise development consent for them within the timeframe left,” she said.
Event co-director Nick Kelly told the Post they had been in touch with the council and that the DA package was ready to be submitted, pending a site inspection. “We are a new production company trying to provide a young, fresh opportunity not just for us but for the artists and fans,” he said. “We believe we can continue to show something very special and are now triply confident given the extra four months for planning.”
Organisers say they’re working with council and other departments to try and secure another date for the festival “on the other side of summer” and are hoping to retain as many artists as they can from their original lineup.
The 2014 lineup was set to feature acts like Brisbane’s Airling, Sydney via Blue Mountains duo Fishing, Sydney beatmaker Kilter, indie pop quartet Lime Cordiale, triple j House Party newcomer KLP (live) and a bunch more.
Marmalade Skies Festival came into being thanks to support provided by punters via a Pozible campaign. The festival reached its $15,000 target in just 11 days, going on to exceed that target by over $5000.
Once the new date is announced a refund option will be set up for those who can no longer attend. “We ask you, please, to keep the faith a little while longer,” add organisers. “You have invested in upcoming, young, Australian music, in a new production company, in a fresh new face on the Australian festival scene.”
“Please allow us to prove you right. We at Marmalade Skies Festival are still confident of putting on an incredible party just, this time, on the other side of summer.”
Watch: Fishing – Your Mouth