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Live Music Strong While Festivals Slump

Written by Greg Moskovitch on March 5, 2014

Data released by Swiss ticket resale service Viagogo, which launched in Australia last September amid a frenzy over ticket scalping legislation, has shown that while Australians are still interested in seeing live music, and particularly big name artists, interest in all-day music festivals is waning.

In a year that’s seen two of Australia’s premier festivals — Big Day Out and Soundwavescale back their geographical scope, in addition to respectively suffering historically low attendance figures and losing several major lineup draw cards, the news comes as a surprise to few.

According to new figures released by Viagogo, demand for music festival tickets in general is declining, with recent numbers showing ticket-holders attempting to resell passes to Soundwave 2014 using the Swiss site were forced to accept 30% less than the original sale price.

However, the somewhat indifferent attitude towards festival tickets did not translate into other large-scale music events, with demand for Soundwave 2014 tickets sitting at less than 10% than that of a single night of Bruce Springsteen‘s Australian tour – Viagogo’s highest selling music event.

The Boss took in a very reasonable $26.7 million for his recently concluded Australian tour, which is currently ranked as Viagogo’s second-best selling event of 2014, between the Australian Open and The Ashes, with Eminem‘s Rapture 2014 tour and Dolly Parton sitting at number four and five.

“It seems that, with Soundwave’s recent woes, the Australian festival season went out with a whimper, not a bang. With so many major acts now playing several dates in Australia…festivals need to book big names to draw in the crowds,” said Viagogo spokesperson Alex Levenson.

“Unfortunately, this year the country’s biggest festivals have fallen short of the mark and have paid the price with slumping ticket demand,” he added, though it’s important to note that Soundwave festival did indeed book big names and subsequently lost them under varying circumstances.

“Festivals are an integral part of any music fan’s summer and, for many, they’re the setting of some of their favourite musical experiences. Let’s hope that next year the festival chiefs can get it right and book – and retain – the talent that Aussies want to see,” said Levinson.

Viagogo’s Current Top 5 Selling Events Of 2014

1. Australian Open
2. Bruce Springsteen
3. The Ashes
4. Eminem
5. Dolly Parton

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