Killer Be Killed @ Soundwave Adelaide, 2015 / Photo: Nic Bezzina

Ratepayers Forced To Pay $75K Soundwave Debt Following Council Decision

UPDATE: Soundwave’s AJ Maddah has released a fiery statement calling out Adelaide City Council for “punishing Soundwave for being successful”.

ORIGINAL STORY: Soundwave Festival may be dead and buried, but the embattled Aussie metal bash is continuing to cause headaches from beyond the grave.

The once great festival — which was axed at the end of 2015 amid a mountain of debt — has now ended up costing ratepayers in Adelaide around $75,000, after Adelaide City Council reached a decision to wave the festival’s debt.

Soundwave was last held in Adelaide’s Bonython Park back in February 2015 (the Adelaide leg was canned a year before the festival itself) and promoter AJ Maddah‘s management company, Soundwave Festival Pty Ltd, has reportedly failed to fork out the event fees it owed.

According to News Corp Australia, liquidators appointed to recover Soundwave’s debt to Adelaide City Council in 2016 had managed to claw back a payment of two cents for every dollar owed to them (totalling just $1,529), but they’ve since confirmed that they don’t expect to receive any further payments from the now defunct festival.

This week, councillors agreed to permanently write-off the remaining $75,391 as “bad debt”, meaning the bill has essentially been footed by local ratepayers.

But the good news is that the local Government has promised the debt won’t affect the chances of future festivals securing event spaces in Adelaide.

“The City of Adelaide plays a key role in events that aim to increase visitation and cultural activity year-round,” a council spokesperson has said.

“While the outcome of the Soundwave Festival event was disappointing, the council will continue to support applications for events that encourage a wide range of cultural experiences throughout the city.”

On the topic of whether council would consider working with AJ Maddah on any more festivals in the future, the spokesperson said it would “assess any future applications from event organisers on their merits”.

Around six months after the last-ever instalment of Soundwave Adelaide wrapped in 2015, Soundwave Festival Pty Ltd went into voluntary administration with up to $25 million in unpaid debts to some of the biggest rock acts in the world (including Slipknot, Soundgarden and The Smashing Pumpkins), the Australian Tax Office and other creditors, although ownership of the festival had been transferred to a new company prior to this.

Music Feeds has contacted Maddah for comment, along with the councils of other ex-Soundwave cities (Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth).

Relive 11 Unforgettable Soundwave Festival Moments below, and read more about The Truth Behind The Death Of Soundwave, here.

UPDATE: Brisbane Council have confirmed they didn’t provide “any support or sponsorship for the Brisbane Soundwave Festival”.

Gallery: 11 Unforgettable Soundwave Festival Moments

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