Cronulla’s Endless Summer Festival has been cancelled. Event founder and director Mario Kalpou confirmed the cancellation today after the Sutherland Shire Council decided to cut the festival’s funding at the last minute.
In a statement released by Endless Summer, Kalpou said that “without warning” the Sutherland Shire council “pulled $50,000 in sponsorship funds” directly leading to the free-to-attend event being unable to go ahead.
“It’s with regret that I confirm we’re unable to proceed with staging the 2014 Endless Summer Festival,” said Kalpou. “The event is a free community event, not ticketed, and there is no way this close to the event launching that we can hope to make up a $50,000 budget shortfall. It is devastating.”
Kalpou goes on describe the council’s action as “hugely disappointing” being that he, and his staff committed countless hours to Endless Summer 2014 and many local businesses had pledged their support.
“The funds have been pulled at the 11th hour, it’s hugely disappointing,” said Kalpou. “I personally have committed hundreds of hours, employed staff since the beginning of the year and garnered a lot of support from local businesses and other sponsors.
“A lot of people are going to be disappointed the event isn’t going ahead and none more so than me.”
Last year’s inaugural Endless Summer featured local acts like The Preatures and Bluejuice while attracting crowds of 50,000-plus over the three-day event. The boutique festival also generated revenue for the Cronulla Shire, including charities and local participating schools.
“The event was such a coup for the region. It’s hard to comprehend local government doing what the Sutherland Shire Council has done. It’s crushing,” said Kalpou.
This year Endless Summer planned to add international acts to the bill and expected over 60,000 people to attend. Despite this year’s disappointment Kalpou plans to go ahead with Endless Summer 2015, saying it’ll be “back even bigger and better next year.”
“I refuse to let them ruin the spirit of what was such an awesome free community event,” said Kalpou. “I love the Cronulla region. It’s where I live and run a business, which is why I was so happy to bring the Endless Summer Festival to the area.”