Following the cancellation of South Australia’s Gorgeous Festival last week, one of the event’s promoters, Alistair Cranney, says the McLaren Vale shindig was axed because booking agents requested “ridiculous amounts of money to book people”.
Speaking with The Advertiser, Cranney says the festival even tried to book a smaller lineup this year, to avoid any excessively high fees.
“We’d arguably booked a smaller lineup this year in terms of profile, but a lot of that was driven by the agents just wanting ridiculous amounts of money to book people,” he says.
“I was offered Paul Kelly and they wanted $100,000 for him. I love Paul Kelly but he’d already done two shows in SA this year. A lot of those people would not be inclined to pay money to see him again.”
Cranney uses sibling duo Angus & Julia Stone as another example, saying Gorgeous Festival “pushed really hard” to get the musos, who allegedly wanted $80,000 to appear.
“Interestingly, we got offered them a year earlier and they wanted $120,000 and they kept trying to tell me the reason they wanted less this year was because they were being nice,” Cranney says.
If this year’s Gorgeous Festival had gone ahead, Cranney believes he would have stood to lose between $60,000 and $100,000.
Scrapping the event in order to make sure such loses didn’t occur has clearly been a difficult process for organisers, with Cranney saying, “It’s extremely disappointing, it’s hard to put into words. I’ve spent 20 years dreaming about it and the last five years building a brand and this year we didn’t sell enough tickets to make it viable to continue.”
The 2015 edition of Gorgeous Festival was set to take place at Penny’s Hill winery in late November, but was officially scrapped earlier this month, with organisers saying “early ticket sales were not of a level sufficient to finance the Festival we aspired to”.
Cranney has also suggested an excess of events in South Australia added to Gorgeous Fest’s poor ticket sales.
“There just seems to be a lot more on… from the Fashion Festival, to Cheesefest, there was the Melbourne Cup, Handpicked Festival, Riverfest… on the same weekend is the Test match cricket at Adelaide Oval as well,” he says.
Meanwhile, PR professional Anna Bartsch says she is still owed just under $5000 for work she did for the 2014 edition of Gorgeous Festival. Responding to this claim, Cranney says, “I have no contract with Anna Bartsch that is unpaid.”
Gorgeous Festival’s now nonexistent 2015 lineup featured the likes of Kate Miller-Heidke, Stonefield, Melbourne Ska Orchestra and Montaigne.
Gorgeous Festival 2015
Friday, 27th November – Saturday, 28th November – CANCELLED
Penny Hill, McLaren Vale SA
Tickets: Gorgeous Festival