UNIFY Gathering
UNIFY Gathering | Photo by Neal Walters

UNIFY Gathering Organisers Say Festival’s Future Is “Not Certain”

UNIFY Gathering organisers have addressed the future of the festival, after confirming late last year that the festival would not be going ahead in 2023. In its place, a touring, regional mini-festival dubbed UNIFY Off the Record will take place throughout May and June.

In a statement shared to social media over the weekend, UNIFY Gathering organisers responded those who were disappointed about UNIFY not being held in its usual format this year, at its regular home of Tarwin Lower in South Gippsland, Victoria. They also opened up about the difficulties they’ve faced in staging the festival in recent years, adding that they “can’t commit” to a full-scale return next year.

UNIFY Organisers: “If We’re Going to Have a Strong Future, We Need to Be Patient and Avoid Risk”

“When we announced the run of single-day events that make up UNIFY Off the Record, we did so to try and fill some of the space left by not having UNIFY 2023 at a time of the year when there traditionally aren’t as many major events for heavy music fans,” the statement reads.

“Put simply, we’re not doing Off the Record instead of doing UNIFY Gathering, we are doing it instead of doing nothing, along the way giving opportunities to artists to perform at a time when it’s increasingly financially challenging to tour and play shows.”

“Many of you have asked what all this means for the future of UNIFY Gathering. We want to be completely honest with you. The truth is, the future of UNIFY in its current form is not certain and that’s why we haven’t addressed it up to this point,” organisers continued.

They went on to describe some of the “many challenges” they have faced in running UNIFY Gathering, including exposure to extreme weather conditions and the impact of such conditions on their insurances. They also cited include the “[spiralling] cost of infrastructure in a remote site.”

“We need to find a ways to work with these issues before we can bring the Gathering back to South Gippsland. We will leave no stone unturned as we work to bring the festival back, but as of right now, it’s impossible for us to commit to a 2024 return,” organisers added. “What we can tell you is this: we love UNIFY Gathering, and we want it to return more than anyone. But if we’re going to have a strong future, we need to be patient and avoid risk.”

UNIFY Gathering began as a two-day festival in 2015, continuing in 2016 and expanding to a three-day format in 2017. After taking a year off in 2021 due to the pandemic, UNIFY Gathering’s regular Gippsland outing last took place in 2022, with a bill that included The Amity AfflictionViolent SohoTrophy EyesSlowly Slowly, Ocean Grove, Thornhill and many more.

UNIFY Off the Record will kick off in Mackay, Queensland on Saturday, 20th May, before events in Adelaide, Wollongong, Hobart and Frankston. Each event’s lineup will be different – some of the acts who will perform on selected dates include Northlane, Alpha Wolf, In Hearts Wake, Void of Vision, Teenage Joans, Yours Truly, Thy Art Is Murder and Make Them Suffer. See all dates and details here – tickets are on sale now.

Further Reading

UNIFY Gathering Organisers Announce Touring Mini-Festivals for 2023

UNIFY Gathering Will Not Be Happening In 2023

UNIFY Gathering 2020 Review – Tarwin Meadows, Victoria

Must Read