Last year a new festival Disconnect graced Western Australia and while at the time the event was launded a success, musicians who played and crew who worked at the event have now spoken out saying that they haven’t been paid.
The event hosted a lineup including Meg Mac, Flight Facilities and Tkay Maidza, but artists chasing funds are claiming that they have been ignored by organisers for four months.
As ABC News reports, the festival posted a survey on their Facebook on Tuesday asking for suggestions of how to improve the event for a chance to win a double pass to the event. That sparked many artists to publicly speak out.
Musicians and behind the scenes workers began commenting on the Facebook page, rating it one star and leaving remarks like, “the artists and performers who made the festival great never got paid…I think that says it all”.
The festival was organised by Spring Fever Promotions, run by Chris Knight. While they are yet to speak publicly on the matter, their social media account was used to publish a since-deleted post that read, “Who’s excited for Disconnect 2016? Probably not any of the 2015 artists or staff because we still haven’t payed any of them.”
Reviews have since been disabled on the page but triple j secured a few screenshots (below).
Knight previously ran Altered State with his brother Ken Knight, a company that acted as bar operators for the WA leg of Soundwave. The company was declared insolvent after a dispute with organiser A.J. Maddah over a $1 million bar profit.
“Just so many people had been working on that festival day in and day out, and they are still out of pocket which is just crazy,” Timothy Nelson, lead signer of Perth band Timothy Nelson & The Infidels told ABC.
He is not aware of any local artists or staff being paid at this stage.
“It’s a lot bigger than just my band not getting a few hundred bucks, a lot of people have not been paid.”
Lee Reader who was a supplier at the festival said that nobody had spoken out previously because legal action was being considered.
“Common sense said we should keep quiet until we got legal advice,” he said.
“But then when we saw they had planned a 2016 event, after no-one getting replies for four months, no apology from promoters — we had enough.”
Knight allegedly sent an email around to unpaid workers and bands following the social media outrage.
“We are looking at funding options with the bank and will at the worst case get everybody paid in the next 4 weeks,” he wrote.