RIP Future Music Festival, 2006 – 2015

Troubled times for the Australian music festival circuit are upon us, as the Mushroom Group today announced it will be discontinuing the Future Music Festival; 2015’s iteration is now officially its last.

The annual touring festival that featured primarily dance music, but often dabbled in indie, industrial, hip hop, and everything in between, cited dwindling ticket sales and rising operational costs as the primary motivators for today’s reasonably unceremonious binning, even despite what it claims as fairly widespread critical acclaim for the 2015 version which featured Drake, the Prodigy, Avicii, 2 Chainz and Darude among many others.
Chairman of the Mushroom Group Michael Gudinski released a statement earlier today that read in part, “The decision to discontinue Future Music Festival was not made lightly. A point came though where it simply no longer made sense to continue.
Gudinski also cited the failing model of the touring festival, which has already been largely abandoned abroad. In recent years Soundwave has scaled back its operations, and the Big Day Out has dropped off the map altogether. Meanwhile it’s the standalone festivals that are flourishing, like Splendour in the Grass. This follows the global trend where touring festivals have largely become things of the past, whilst singular festivals like Coachella, Lollapalooza, Glastonbury and Reading become more and more popular and profitable.
The small full-time staff that Future did employ now face being made redundant, although Gudinski and Mushroom assert that an alternative festival model is being developed in order to fill the void that Future leaves. Smaller, sister festivals Good Life and Sugar Mountain will remain unaffected by today’s decision.
As for the new festival model being developed, Gudinski asserted, “We believe in the festival industry in Australia and plan to announce an exciting new festival concept in the coming months.

Goodnight, sweet prince. You’re throwing shapes and sitting on tall people’s shoulders at that great gig in the sky now.
Photo: Mark Metcalfe via Getty Images.