Splendour In The Grass and Falls Festival organiser Jess Ducrou has assured punters that her and her business partner Paul Pitico will still have creative control of their festival lineups despite selling 51 per cent of their company Secret Sounds to touring giant Live Nation.
“Paul [Piticco] and I will be booking the lineup like we always book the lineup,” Ducrou tells triple j‘s Hack program.
“There’s no pressure to put on more commercial artists because of their touring arm. They’re partnering with us to do what we do,” she says, amid concerns that Live Nation’s involvement would mean that less independent promoters would get a look-in when it came to the Splendour lineup, thereby making it more commercial.
Yesterday, former Soundwave promoter AJ Maddah told Music Feeds that Live Nation’s takeover “may be a serious blow to the independent promoters who have enjoyed the patronage of The Falls & Splendour for many years”.
Speaking to triple j, Maddah echoes those same concerns, saying, “Falls and Splendour have been know for patronage of independent promoters who get an opportunity to book their acts on the festival. I feel that will probably change going forward.”
That said, Maddah was confident that if Ducrou continues to book the acts, “I don’t think the nature of the artist will change too much.”
The other concern raised by Maddah is that Splendour and Falls tickets may now be sold via Ticketmaster, which is owned by Live Nation. Ticketmaster also has a ticket resale arm which opens opportunities for scalpers to sell at inflated prices.
Ducrou assures triple j, however, that Splendour will not use Ticketmaster as its ticketing provider and that their resale facility will remain.
“Ticketmaster per se is not going to be the company selling tickets for Splendour or Falls Festival for that matter. It will be through an arm of their business – a different ticketing platform,” she says.
Brian Chladil, CEO of OzTix, has sold tickets to Falls Festival for the last seven years, and he thinks Live Nation’s new deal will push ticket prices up.
“This whole Live Nation vertically integrated model – the consumer just ends up paying more,” he says. “It’s a fact Ticketmaster charge more than we do. They have a transaction charge and we don’t.”
Gallery: Best Of Splendour In The Grass 2016 – Day 2 / Photos: Maria Boyadgis