Groovin The Moo announced its 2016 dates yesterday, but organisers are said to be dealing with financial strain at the festival’s Queensland leg in Townsville, and have asked the local government to help plug a $300,000 budget hole ahead of the event in May.
Triple j has reportedly obtained a letter signed by Groovin The Moo promoters Cattleyard Promotions, which is addressed to Herbert’s Federal MP Ewen Jones, asking for financial assistance in staging the festival in Townsville.
The letter reveals that Groovin The Moo has been losing money in Townsville over the last three years, with that leg of the event being propped up by the success of the five other stops. In the letter, organisers say their request for funds is “carefully considered”.
“We want to keep Townsville on the national GTM touring map. We do not want to compromise the quality of the event because it happens to be in north Queensland and not near Brisbane,” the letter reads.
“The extent to which GTM Townsville absorbed profits from the other destinations posed a very real threat to us having no choice but to cancel or move the QLD destination.
“GTM Townsville does not have a problem attracting international artists, but we need support to transport the artists to Townsville and to promote Townsville to our southern Qld and interstate audiences.”
The letter reportedly shows that GTM organisers believe the loss of revenue in Townsville is due to a number of factors, including the downturn in the mining industry and local tourism, smaller attendance (around 15,000 people), the cost of artist and crew flights (around $150,000) and a Townsville police fee of $30,000.
In a statement to triple j, Cattleyard Promotions say the Townsville leg of GTM 2016 will go ahead. “Touring regional Australia is a costly exercise however as announced [yesterday] all Groovin the Moo events for 2016 are going ahead and will continue to do so into the foreseeable future,” the statement reads.
The MP who received Cattleyard Promotions’ letter, Ewen Jones, has told triple j‘s Tom Tilley that the local government is looking at partnering GTM with government departments like the Department Of Health, who would run information campaigns while GTM would gain some financial support. Jones even suggested the possibly of extending this model across the country.
Hear that interview in full alongside the 2016 Groovin The Moo dates, below. The festival’s first full lineup announcement is expected in January.
Gallery: Groovin The Moo 2015, Bendigo / Photos: Nikki Williams
Groovin The Moo 2016
Saturday, 23rd April
Maitland Showground, Maitland NSW
Sunday, 24th April
University of Canberra, Canberra ACT
Monday, 25th April
Oakbank Racecourse, Oakbank SA (ANZAC Day)
Saturday, 30th April
Bendigo’s Prince Of Wales Showground, Bendigo VIC
Sunday, 1st May
Townsville Cricket Grounds, Townsville QLD (QLD Long Weekend Monday Public Holiday)
Saturday, 7th May
Hay Park, Bunbury WA