SandTunes Festival has been cancelled just weeks out from the event, with organisers citing low ticket sales as the cause of death.
The beleaguered festival, at which Carly Rae Jepson, Chvrches and Travis Scott were slated to play, had already faced numerous issues in terms of its location and ticket price, slashing prices in recent weeks.
In a statement on Friday night, promoter Paul Dainty said it was simply not feasible for the two-day festival to go ahead.
“We tried our best to make Metricon work for SandTunes. But the reality is that without sand between our punters’ toes, the very notion of the beachside festival in a stadium meant low sales and we had to make the hard decision to cancel this major Gold Coast event,” he said.
“I would like to extend my gratitude to the many people who have spent numerous hours over the past two-and-a-half years trying to bring this event to fruition. I would also particularly like to thank the ticket purchasers and supporters of this event.”
SandTunes, as its name suggests, was intended to be held on Coolangatta Beach, but was later moved to Metricon Stadium.
The festival’s statement suggested a campaign by state MP Jann Stuckey and “some local business owners” to move the festival to the stadium was partly to blame for poor ticket sales.
It also mentioned a $10 million “windfall” the festival was set to bring to the Gold Coast.
“This whole concept started with bringing a great music festival to the beach which we see happening the world over in major locations like Spain (Barcelona Beach Festival) and Alabama (Hangout Music Festival),” Dainty said.
“I’m disappointed because I believed this could have grown year-on-year into something really big but unfortunately, we weren’t even able to get it off the ground here.”
Major slashes in ticket prices – with two day tickets dropping from $399 to $299, and single day tickets dropping from $209 to $129 – were also unable to save the festival.
The cancellation means Carly Rae Jepson fans in Queensland will now miss out on her Australian tour altogether.
All ticket holders will be refunded in full, with patrons being advised to allow for 10 working days for the refund to appear.